A study found that children with autism are more social and responsive when in the presence of small animals. They feel that the research could positively affect their ability to adjust to therapy and school situations.
Compared to having toys around, the children with autism were more likely to talk, look at faces and make physical contact when the guinea pigs were present. They also were more likely to respond to other children's attempts to play with them.
The presence of the guinea pigs also led to more smiling and laughing, and less frowning, whining and crying among the children with autism, compared to having the toys, according to the study, which was published Feb. 20 in the journal PLoS One.
Read more at: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/02/27/animals-may-boost-social-interaction-in-kids-with-autism
Does your child have a pet of their own? Have you noticed any change in their social behavior when they are near?