Are Dogs Good Therapy For Children With Autism
Yes, pet dogs are very good therapy for children with or without an Autism Spectrum Disorder / ASD, in fact for any one!
Certain breeds of dogs are better for children than others, mainly because of temperament and size, however the home environment and obedience training can be equally important.
Click here for more info on the best dogs for children.
So why are pet dogs such good therapy for children with Autism
Dogs provide companionship, loyalty and unconditional love. These qualities are very important to the health and well being of any being, however for a child with Autism, which usually has social integration problems this can be an especially important factor.
Pet dogs can provide an emotional outlet for children with Autism, they can relate to the pet as a friend and express love through the pet, equally the pet dog will reciprocate that love back unconditionally and without judgment.
It is also important for the child with Autism to interact with other children and not only their pet, common sense and balanced exposure is the key!
A child with Autism can also learn to play with a pet dog, anything that will bring joy to a child with Autism is a good thing and will always aid in brain healing, fun heals!
What Breeds of Dogs are best for Children
Below is a list of the most popular breed of dogs recommended for children:
- British Bulldog
- Australian Shepherd
- Cocker Spaniel
- Golden Retriever
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Boxer Dog
- Norfolk Terrier
- Bichon Frise
The list is comprised of dogs which have a more suitable temperament and size for children, however training (for both child and dog) is imperative, socialisation for the dog should also start at a very early puppy age. It is also a very good idea to get the child to interact with the dog as soon as possible and if possible to attend the dog obedience / socialisation training with them as well.
The Golden Rule
The one golden rule with children and dogs is to never leave them unsupervised, whether the child has Autism or not. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and no matter how well you think you know your dog, you can never be 100% sure.
© 2011, EJ Banon. All rights reserved.