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Monday, January 05, 2015
Pets Linked to Stronger Social Skills in Children with Autism
By Heather Johnson - Living with pets may increase the social skills of children with autism. A recent study from a researcher the University of Missouri (MU) as published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders finds that having pets such as cats, rabbits, and other animals as well as dogs in the home may help children with autism improve their social skills.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that manifests during the first three years of life. The disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication and by restricted, repetitive, or stereotyped behavior. ASD currently affects one in 68 children in the United States.
Previous studies have found that pets help encourage social interaction and that pet dogs may help children with autism develop their social skills. Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, research fellow in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), explains that children including autistic children tend to interact and talk to each other more with animals present in the home, classroom, or other social setting.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/health-wellness/pets-linked-stronger-social-skills-children-autism-01111474#Tb6eOuqaAhK28qcR.99