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Furry Companions May Help Autistic Children Socially

Recently an article published on My Health News Daily by staff, reported findings from a new French Study. Although the study was small, researchers discovered that children with autism, who got a pet after age 5, demonstrated improvements in their abilities to share with others and to offer comfort. Children that had a pet since they were born or never had a pet showed no signs of improvement in either one of those categories.

According to one of the researchers, there is still little known about the influence of pets on family dynamics and children’s development but pets can directly influence human behaviors.

The relationship between kids and their family pet.

The researcher further explained,

When a human and a pet are interacting, each partner uses signals emitted by the other to adjust their behavior.

The research was led by Marine Grandgeorge, of the Autism Resource Center at Hospital Bohars in France, and they looked at children between the ages of 6 and 16. The pets who participated in the study included dogs, cats and hamsters and the results showed that children who got a pet at age 5, over time showed less discrepancy in their ability to share food or toys with their parents or other children. Children who never had a pet didn’t show this same improvement.

In a separate study the researchers studied eight children who had a pet in their home since birth, with eight children who never owned a pet. The study uncovered those children who’d had pets their entire lives were no different in terms of social skills than those without pets.

The findings were published online on August 1st in the journal PLoS ONE. Click here to read the full article.

What do you think, does your pet influence your family dynamics?

 

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