Animal Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism

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See Ching Mey


The inclusion of animals in therapeutic activities, known as animal-assisted therapy, can be used as a treatment practice for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Reported outcomes included improvements in multiple areas of functioning, such as the physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning of the child, as well as providing educational and motivational effectiveness for children with autism. Animal assisted therapy, in this case dog assisted therapy, involves a dog with specific characteristics becoming  part of a child’s therapy. Three cases are narrated on the effect of dog assisted therapy on children with autism. This leads  to the conclusion that  animal assisted therapy helps children with autism learn to trust, de-stress, care for another living creature, step out of their comfort zones to try something new, and communicate.


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Mey, S. C. (2017). Animal Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism. International Journal of Child Development and Mental Health, 5(1), 29–42. Retrieved from
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