Autism Online Magazine

Animal Therapies for People with Autism

Autism doesn’t have a cure, but animals can have a good impact in children and adults alike, let’s go to find out what are the best animal-assisted therapies to increase kids self-confidence and just make them feel happy.

Working with animal therapies can help children within the spectrum, especially if they like animals, to find a group that shared the same interests, forming bonds and creating possible friendships. Plus the animals will give unconditional love, and it’s something that every ASD kid will receive with gratitude.

Types of animal-assisted therapies

Not any kind of animal will work in these therapies; normally mammals are the best option because they can give and receive affection, and interactions are constant. Reptiles, birds, and amphibians aren’t good options for work with ASD people. No matter what kind of mammal you choose for your kid, it must be with one of these therapies.

Service animal

This works perfectly with the most strong aspect of the spectrum, and it’s well known as the preferred therapy for people with visual needs. Dogs are the animal selected, and some breeds over others. These dogs are highly trained, and you can consider them professional animals, for that reason they are not considered as pets. The dog will completely integrate with the child’s life. Practically it becomes his or her shadow. It could be an expensive therapy, but there are many funding resources, just find the right for your kid.

Therapy animals

This one will provide skills to build social interaction, communication, management of emotions, and playing abilities; even can work to interact with their peers that are also in the therapy, to possibly make friends among them. Any animal works great here: dogs, cats, parrots, Guinea pigs, horses, and others. So the cost will depend on the type of animal that is chosen.

Emotional animal therapy

These animals are usually pets, but they will need a clinical certification to let children go with them everywhere, even school! Dogs and cats are the preferred for this therapy; they will be in stressful situations that the ASD kid can’t face alone, like travel to an unknown place, going to school for the first time, medical interventions, and meeting new people.

Pets

Give the opportunity to a child to grow up with a pet and his or her life will change. For ASD kids that is an especial moment because the pet will bring many benefits for them. Pets tend to teach children with autism ‘prosocial’ interactions, such as shared situations and happiness for small things. Also, they provide a type of social bond that is unique and it will be hard to find through another mean.

Hippotherapy (equine therapy)

This is one of the most studied therapy; it has become the complete one because it helps with the emotional part of the spectrum, but also with the ones that suffer from a physical condition. Be surrounded by horses and people in love with them will help kids with social interactions, plus if in the long term they become a skilled horseback rider it’s going to bring benefits in social and physical aspects. However, this is one of the most expensive, for that reason, please make a deep research about it.

Animals are always there to help us, they give their love freely and without asking for anything in return. Teaching your child to be good with them can have emotional and physical benefits, especially for ASD kids, for that reason try to find the correct partner for your little one. Autism Soccer just want the best for your children, so come and find out the best plans for them.

animals and autism
Animals are far more empath than us; they will help kids and adults with ASD.

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