Pets Reduce Stress In Kids With Autism, Study Finds
Editor’s Note: We knew this but its great to see the evidence!
[Source: Disability Scoop]
Animals may offer more than comfort for kids with autism, according to new research finding that pets can bring about physiological changes in those with the developmental disorder.
Children on the spectrum displayed a sharp drop in anxiety and social stress when playing with animals as compared to engaging in other activities whether independently or with their peers, the study found.
By contrast, typically-developing kids actually exhibited a rise in skin conductance levels — which were used to measure anxiety — when presented with animals, perhaps due to excitement, the researchers said in their findings published recently in the journal Developmental Psychobiology.
“Previous studies suggest that in the presence of companion animals, children with autism spectrum disorders function better socially,” said James Griffin of the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which helped fund the new research. “This study provides physiological evidence that the proximity of animals eases the stress that children with autism may experience in social situations.”
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