Pets are more or less important depending on the person who has them. For many people they represent an affective benefit. They give unconditional affection and help to fight loneliness and also depression. For children with autism, having a pet will help the child’s cognitive development.
Having a pet can help with the cognitive development of children with autism
Recent studies show that having a pet helps children with special abilities develop. This study was conducted in more than 70 families, including one child with autism. It took place at the University of Missouri. Most of these children live with cats or dogs. Pets include horses, fish, rodents, rabbits, among others.
The results of these studies showed that those who share their lives with pets acquire social skills that those who do not do not. They become more engaged in relationship with other people, introduce themselves and even ask questions about what they want to know. In addition, those who enjoy the company of an animal were found to be less aggressive.
Are only cats and dogs good companions?
Dogs and cats are the most recommended pets for living with a child with autism. They are companions as well as unconditional to offer their love. Some children with this disorder experience loud noises, so a dog that barks excessively is not recommended. The pet must reassure the child to interact with simple words such as “give me”, “come here”, “stay” or “follow me”.
However, the above studies also showed that autistic children have better relationships with cats than they do with dogs. A scientist at the University of Rennes found out why cats have better communication with children with this disorder. It’s all about the visual communication you make with your pets. Cats look more like these children. You look away with brief eye contact.
Instead, the dog stares at its owner for a few minutes. It’s like speaking with his eyes. This causes children with autism to look away from them. Because of this, children who suffer from this problem are more comfortable with cats than they are with dogs.
In addition, cats do not like hectic and noisy places and tend to be very calm during the day. Cats have characteristics that are common to the behavior of children with autism.
The pet is the way in which the child approaches his fellow human beings.
In most cases the animal is the means of communication between the child and his environment. It helps them express themselves more easily and makes it easier for them to integrate into society.
There are even cases of children who did not speak. Their relationship with the pet helps them babble their first words. It is usually the pet’s name. The pet gives them confidence and strengthens them. He is your friend and partner.
The benefits a pet can bring to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are undeniable. The most common pets used for this function are cats, dogs, horses, and even donkeys. But the most important thing is always that the child chooses it and is not afraid of it.