Pets Could Ease Anxiety In Kids With Autism

By on May 27, 2015 new study has found that interacting with pets could help children with autism find relief for social anxiety. Does this mean parents of kids with ASD should run out to buy a guinea pig?(Photo : Shedrick Mask | Flickr)

Children with autism could find relief from anxiety by having an animal companion, according to a new study. This finding could help medical professionals develop new treatment methods that use animals to help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Autism results in challenging social situations, in which people with the disorder have trouble communicating and interacting with others, including members of their peer group. This condition, along with accompanying repetitive behaviors and interests, often results in social isolation.

Researchers examined 38 children with autism, as well as 76 children who don’t have the condition. The 114 children were divided into three groups, each containing one autistic child and two free of the disorder. Each of the subjects were fitted with special devices, worn on the wrist, which measured biological responses to social situations, including anxiety. These monitors measured skin conductivity, which changes when subjects are feeling excited, anxious or fearful.

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