The Effects Of Animal Assisted Therapy On An Individual 's Life

1152 Words Dec 17th, 2016 5 Pages
One area that is receiving a lot of attention is the use of animal-assisted therapy (frequently dogs) for individuals with autism. While research is limited, studies reveal that children with an ASD laugh, talk and display other positive social behaviors when they have a companion animal with them. A recent study explored the viewpoints of youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This innovative study finds that animals help individuals with autism combat feelings of loneliness. Additional research finds that animals can reduce the anxiety, depression and fear that many people with an ASD feel. Furthermore, studies indicate that behavioral problems decrease, positive social interactions and a desire to participate are gained through animal-assisted therapy.
Study Aims to Understand the Impact ASD has on an Individual’s Life
Nancy Cheak-Zamora is a researcher at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cheak-Zamora states that the challenges faced by youth with ASDs as they transition to adulthood were apparent, however, the majority of the research available has focused on the perspectives of their caretakers or parents. The lack of research outlining the perspectives of individuals with autism is due to their limited participation in research. Furthermore, the fears and communication difficulties many individuals with ASDs face also contribute to the inability to gather information for study.
Thinking ‘Outside the Box’ to Gather Information…

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