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A new study shows that animals significantly increase social behaviors in children with Autism. It’s been shown numerous times that bringing animals into a hospital or rehab environment can boost the spirits of those facing illness and/or recovery.

Now, a study performed by an Australian university pairing children ranging from 5-13 years old with guinea pigs, suggests that interacting with furry friends can boost socialization, the core deficit in individuals with ASD. An increase in verbal interaction as well as positive emotional displays was present throughout this study.

Lead researcher Marguerite O’Haire stated “participants with ASD talked more, looked more at human faces and made more tactile contact with people in the presence of animals compared to toys.”

Obviously welcoming an animal into your family can be a lot of work, so that’s something to consider before you run out and get a new pet. Of course, we recommend a rescue/shelter animal 😉

Does your family include a pet? Have you seen a positive impact on your child with ASD?