Pet Therapy for Autistic Kids: An Overview in Conjunction with Autism
What is Autism?
More and more children are being diagnosed with autism, but what is it exactly? Autism is a developmental brain disorder. There are many types of brain disorders within the spectrum of autism; it is not as simple as one might think. It is a complex disorder which is categorized and characterized by various behavioral patterns.
There are many theories as to how a child gets autism. Some theories support vaccinations as a cause, while others do not. It really depends on who you ask. Symptoms include difficulties in social surroundings or the inability to interact well with others, communication difficulties, repetitive behavior and the physical aspects (seizures, sleep disorders, sensory dysfunction, etc.) that may or may not be present in a child.
What is Pet Therapy for Autistic Kids?
Autistic children have one thing in common and that is the inability to trust others. This can be in the form of having difficulty relating to people or just wanted to be alone. Pet therapy for autistic kids is a great way to help the children interact and break out of their mental bubble.
Animals are non-judgmental creatures. Autistic children have a way to interact with something that will not be mean, something that will not make fun of them and will generally love them in an unconditional way. This is a factor that can help autistic children beyond measure.
The therapy is not only emotional but also physical. The children learn to enjoy the active lifestyle of playing with their pet and this works their bodies and their minds at the same time. Some of the issues that are focused on with great success are: attention skills, verbal interaction with others, reducing anxieties, raising self esteem and removing the feeling of loneliness.
So, what kinds of pets are used? All kinds! Horses, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. There is no discrimination involved. Every child has a different need and desire. They will choose what is right for them. All animals used for this therapy are trained at specific facilities and are completely safe. The surroundings and interaction shows the children that they are not alone and when they begin to get comfortable with their pets they branch out to human interaction within the groups.
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