“If you were to get rid of all autism genes, there would be no more silicon valley”, says Mary Temple Grandin. She is a pioneer in animal science and autism rights. The reason of mentioning her here is the fact that she was born with autism. Once, she was sent to her aunt’s ranch for a month and there she learned to communicate better. There she got to know everything about cattle and today, she is into animal science and is absolutely in love with animals. If she is so special, why can’t your child be?
For autistic children, pets, not restricted to dogs, can be very helpful. You need to find if your child is comfortable with dog or not. If he is not, then you can always choose other tamed animals. There have been many researches about the change in behavior of special children with the mere fact of having a pet.
There are many organizations like Dogs for the Disabled or PAWS which helps the families of autistic children by assisting them with dogs. These organizations have also conducted several researches, which show many positive signs of growth in social skills of children.
How does bonding with tamed animals help autistic children?
The core issue for children with autism is of social conducts. Their minds work differently and do not follow any superficial social tantrums. They have minimal tolerance for noise and shy away very easily.
Journal of pediatric nursing published a survey which stated that a child with autism tends to bond easily with domestic animals. Their bonding helps the child to be calmer and once he/she is calm, they can understand the situation better.
Is there anything that you dislike or not comfortable doing it? Yes? Now, imagine that someone is forcing you to do it. Does your temper flare up in such situations? It would definitely go high. Similarly, autistic children do not like noise, or cannot feel comfort around strangers.
And what do we do? Force them to go with the social flow and poke them till the brim. We are conditional with them, which becomes a barrier for them and restrains their development.
On the other hand, animals show unconditional love and have no demands from children. They do not ask them to speak, dress or sit properly. They accept them as they are. They have all the patience that these children need to let them bond. No rush can actually speed up the process. This is why autistic children bond easily with pets. They accompany them in their quests; as both have similar fears of touch and strangers; and can relate with each other.
Once the children bonds with the pet, their communication skill improves. Let’s say Bruno is the pet. When asked; where is Bruno? Your kid, who now likes Bruno, will go and find him. He will stroke him while asking him to come out. In this way, they will overcome their fear of touch and asking or answering normal questions.
He will even answer strangers when they will talk to him about Bruno. Gradually, they will see that the world is not to fear about and this realization will bloom their skills.
On whole, the pet’s presence is a boon for autistic children and their parents. Don’t you want your children to be happy? Then go and get paws for your tots!