Therapy dogs autism

Assistance Dog Information | Autism Speaks

Service dogs have been found to be very beneficial for some children and adults with autism. Autism Speaks has put together a list of resources to help you learn more about service dogs and connect you with organizations that may be able to help you and your family find a service dog that is right for you.

Service Dog Organizations

4 Paws for Ability
4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of children with disabilities and veterans by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. This provides increased independence for the children and assistance to their families. 4 Paws for Ability also helps educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places.

Autism Service Dogs of America 
Our mission at Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA) is to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living with autism, and their families, by providing exceptionally well trained service dogs.  Our service dogs provide physical safety and an emotional anchor for children with autism.

Assistance Dogs International
Assistance Dogs International (ADI) is a coalition of not for profit assistance dog organizations. The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilization of assistance dogs, staff and volunteer education, as well as educating the public about assistance dogs, and advocating for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs.

Blessings Unleashed
Blessings Unleashed is a national life-changing program that turns rescue dogs into heroes for children with autism. Our mission is to enrich the lives of individuals with autism by training and placing highly skilled service dogs. We accomplish this by properly training select rescue dogs for their future individualized task and educating recipients to utilize and care for their service dog.

Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, Canine Companions is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs, and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. The result is a life full of increased independence and loving companionship.

Custom Canines Service Dog Academy
Custom Canines Service Dog Academy is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization of volunteer professionals and individuals who embrace the endeavor of creating and supporting lasting partnerships between highly skilled service dogs and the community of mankind with diverse impairments and disabilities, thus greatly enhancing their quality of life. The dogs of Custom Canines are placed with their human partners at no cost.

Informational Blogs and News Items

7 tips for getting a service dog for an autistic child
from Autism Daily Newscast

Service dog or therapy dog: Which is best for a child with autism?
from Autism Speaks

Autism and pets: More evidence of social benefits
from Disability Scoop

The Therapeutic Power of Pets for Children with Autism
from Stages Learning

Lending a paw: 'Chester the Super Hero Dog'
from Arkansas Online

Autistic child's family raises money for service dog
from the Natchez Democrat

How to Decide Between Autism Service Dogs or Therapy Dogs

Today’s “Got Questions?” response is by dog trainer Janet Cole, dog handler Betty Miller and developmental pediatrician Rolanda Maxim Gott. Ms. Cole is the founder of CHAMP Assistance Dogs, in St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Miller is nurse coordinator for the dog therapy clinic at the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and Saint Louis University School of Medicine. And Dr. Maxim is the developmental center’s medical director. The center, hospital and medical school are part of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network.

“We are looking into getting either a therapy dog or a service dog for our son who has autism. My respite-care provider believes he would benefit more from a therapy dog then a service dog. Can you advise? Any help or suggestions are appreciated.”

Thank you for your excellent question. Before we discuss which kind of dog might be best for you child, please consider the following questions if you haven’t already:

  • Does your child like dogs?
  • Might your child or anyone else in the household have allergies that might be aggravated by a dog?
  • Is your family prepared and ready to take on the long-term commitment and expense of caring for a dog in sickness and in health?
  • Are you comfortable handling a dog while caring for your child in public? Even with a highly trained service dog, many parents have told us they were surprised how difficult this could be. Remember, the dog is looking to you (the adult) for direction and commands. At the same time, your child may need your full attention.

A service dog training agency – such as those listed on the Assistance Dogs International website – can help you sort through these questions.

You are correct to recognize a difference between a service dog and a therapy dog. We’d add a third category – a companion dog that’s well-behaved and well-trained. In fact, that’s what we usually recommend when a family comes to us for advice on choosing a dog for a child who has autism.

Here are some distinctions to consider when deciding which type of dog is right for a child – or adult – who has autism:

Companion dogs

As mentioned, a well-trained family pet can be a wonderful calming influence for someone who has autism. An affectionate dog provides unconditional love and friendship on a daily basis. Walking the dog provides both exercise and a “social magnet” to ease conversation with other children. Learning to care for the dog teaches responsibility and practical skills. And pets provide parents with opportunities to teach and model caring behaviors and consideration of a friend’s needs – both important social skills.

If you’re considering purchasing or adopting a dog, we suggest golden retrievers, labs and labradoodles (lab-poodle mixes) because these breeds tend to have a calm temperament and high intelligence.

When it comes to adopting a rescue dog, we have one caveat. Many rescue dogs have unknown histories. That makes it difficult to predict how they will react when they feel frightened or threatened. Would the dog bite your child if he grabbed it roughly? Is it prone to chase cats? Attack other dogs? Some rescue dogs have been abused and so become fearful around certain people such as men.

Editor’s note: For a listing of local and national agencies and resources, also see the Autism Speaks Assistance Dog Resource page.

Service dogs

Many service dogs receive extensive training and official certification to help perform functions that present a challenge for a person with a disability. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that people with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program. ADA also mandates that people can bring their service dogs in all public areas – including restaurants and stores. Service dogs typically wear a “cape,” or harness, that identifies them and lets bystanders know they are working and should not be disturbed.

Each service dog is trained according to the needs of the person it will assist. For instance, it may help someone with a mobility problem, visual or hearing impairment, epilepsy (alerting to seizures), diabetes (alerting to high or low blood sugar), an anxiety disorder or a developmental disorder such as autism.

An autism service dog, for example, can accompany a child to decrease anxiety during medical or dental visits, school activities, shopping and travel. Some autism service dogs are trained to recognize and gently interrupt self-harming behaviors or help de-escalate an emotional meltdown. For instance, it might respond to signs of anxiety or agitation with a calming action such as leaning against the child (or adult) or gently laying across his or her lap.

Parents have asked us about getting a service dog to safeguard their child from wandering. Generally, we do not recommend this. Tethering a dog to a child can be extremely dangerous. Like any animal, a service dog can panic under stress, resulting in tragedy for both the child and dog. While some agencies claim they can train dogs to stop children from leaving a home or yard, dogs are not appropriate babysitters. They can get fatigued and inattentive.

Finally, we want to emphasize that while many well-meaning people try to train dogs to perform service-dog duties, an improperly trained service dog can present a real hazard. That’s why we recommend working with an accredited dog agency. (See resources above.)

Therapy dogs

As their name suggests, therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort in therapeutic situations. Typically, they work in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare and mental health facilities. They can assist with physical or occupational therapy, or simply help calm a patient undergoing a stressful medical procedure.

Outside of medical and institutional settings, therapy dogs have become popular in the autism community for their calming influence and ability to promote social interaction.

Many but not all therapy dogs have special training. (Many simply have an exceptionally calm, affectionate and tolerant nature.) When choosing a therapy dog, we recommend using an accredited agency such as one of those listed on the Assistance Dogs International website. In contacting a local agency, ask about their experience and training working with children or adults who have autism.

When therapy dogs work in a professional setting, they often wear an identifying cape. Some private owners likewise use an identifying cape or bandana. However, therapy dogs don’t have federally mandated access to public places.

Bottom line: Whether you get a companion dog, service dog or therapy dog, selecting the right animal means finding a highly individual “match” – with the child’s needs as well as the family. A local assistance dog agency may be able to help with this process. However, it’s a process that takes patience – with home visits and special training and waiting periods that can take up to 2 years from start to finish.

We hope this information on your canine options – and what each can offer a child with autism – will help guide your choice. Your goal is a very special connection between your child and the dog. When this happens, it is a magical thing!

Dogs, horses and autism: what is animal-assisted therapy?


Review of research data research on and against the treatment of autism by communication with animals

Source: Interactive autism Network


in a human life with a chronic disease or disability. play several roles, mainly they can cheer up or protect against possible harm. It has also been suggested that various animals, from dogs to dolphins, could provide real therapy. For example, it has been argued that they can reduce emotional stress, relieve physical pain, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, improve motor and cognitive skills, and in the case of autism, reduce stereotyped behavior, reduce sensory sensitivity, and increase desire and ability to socialize with others. nine0003

What do we know about animals and their possible impact on the life of a person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? In this article, we will discuss the current research into animal therapies, both in general and in relation to ASD. We will also look at the use of service dogs by families with a child with autism.

Animal-Human Interaction: Not Just a New Experience

Snuggle a puppy, ride a horse, swim with a dolphin - without a doubt, all this can be a memorable and life-enriching experience for any person, including a person with a disability. However, there have long been claims that interacting with and caring for animals can improve the condition of a person with a disability or disease. In 1859year, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, wrote: “The little pet is often an excellent companion for the sick, especially in chronic cases. Sometimes a disabled person, imprisoned for years in the walls of his room, has no other consolation than a bird in a cage. If he can feed the animal himself and clean up after it, then he should always be encouraged to do so.” Since then, a century and a half has passed, and scientists are exploring the possible benefits of animal-human interactions, including pets, animal visiting programs, and animal-assisted therapy. There are studies stating that interacting with animals can reduce the perception of physical pain, as well as have a positive effect on factors such as blood pressure and heart rate, as well as psychological factors such as anxiety or depression, and socio-psychological factors such as loneliness. In addition, studies have suggested that interactions with animals can reduce agitation and aggression, as well as improve social interaction and the ability to perform household tasks in people with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and schizophrenia. nine0003

Given these potential benefits, it is not surprising that animal visitation and therapy programs are used for a wide variety of populations from children to the elderly in a wide range of settings, from boarding schools to hospitals and prisons. As a result, animal-assisted therapy has become a new area of ​​interest for both clinicians and mental health professionals.

However, those with an interest in the field always share animal-related activities, such as when a volunteer brings a dog to a nursing home, and animal-assisted therapy, which is carried out by a specially trained specialist and a trained animal, and which is aimed at solving specific problems in specific group of patients. nine0003

ASD and Animal-Based Therapy

There have been many big claims about animal-assisted therapies, but one of them is particularly important for parents of children with autism—the suggestion that animals can help with social bonding. Even the first attempts to use dogs for therapeutic purposes involved children with autism.

As researcher Olga Solomon writes: “Recognition of the potential of animals as communication partners for children with autism was perhaps the reason why therapy dogs were introduced over 50 years ago. For the first time, the suggestion that playful interaction with dogs can improve the socio-communicative abilities of children with autism was made by Boris Levinson, a child psychiatrist at Yeshiva University School of Medicine, during a meeting of the American Psychological Association at 1960… In his book Pet-Centered Psychotherapy, Levinson wrote that “heart-seeing dogs can improve the emotional health of children with autism.”

Dr. Solomon has done two in-depth case studies of children with ASD who interacted with therapy or service dogs. She decided to study the effects of dogs on children with autism after she was approached by the father of a little girl with autism and begged her to sell him a dog. The girl met Dr. Solomon's dog in the park, and she prompted her to play spontaneously - the girl began to throw a frisbee to the dog, laughed, and generally behaved in a completely different way than usual. The case prompted Solomon to the idea that perhaps "something in the social behavior and characteristics of canines engages children with autism in communication in a way that other people cannot." She says that dogs not only attract the attention of a person, they urgently demand it. For example, a dog may bring a Frisbee to a child, and if the child ignores it, the dog may toss the Frisbee, bark, or otherwise demand a response. At the same time, interaction with a dog does not require understanding of speech or complex social rules that are characteristic of people. nine0003

Other researchers have also wondered if children with ASD can improve their social-emotional skills as a result of interacting with dogs. In preliminary data from a study of animal-assisted therapy in 12 autistic children, Laurel Redefer and Joan Goodman note “a significant increase in prosocial behavior and a parallel decrease in self-absorption as a result of contact with a friendly dog. Children exhibited less autistic behaviors (eg, hand-gazing, bellowing and clicking noises, rotating objects, repetitive jumping, aimless wandering) and were more likely to exhibit socially acceptable behaviors (eg, joining simple games with a therapist, initiating joint activities, giving balloons, balls, stretching out arms for hugs or friendly imitating the actions of the therapist). nine0003

Researchers at the University of Washington College of Veterinary Medicine compared the positive social behavior of 10 children with ASD in the presence of a therapist and a ball, a stuffed toy dog, and a real dog. They found that children with ASD "played more, were more focused, and paid more attention to their social environment in the presence of a therapy dog." In the presence of a dog, children shook their hands more often, but scientists believe that this was a manifestation of joy on their part. In the presence of the dog, they also laughed more often and longer. nine0003

Therapeutic riding or hippotherapy has long been used to develop certain physical abilities, such as head and trunk control, in people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy. Very few studies have been devoted to hippotherapy for children with ASD, but all of them concerned the possible impact on social development. For example, a Japanese study on "psycho-educational riding" among 4 children with pervasive developmental disorders states that riding improved skills in imitation, emotional expression, eye contact, and others. An American study conducted at a hippotherapy center among 34 children with ASD found that "therapeutic riding among autistic children resulted in improved sensory seeking, sensory sensitivity, social imitation, improved attention, reduced distractibility, and reduced mobility." nine0003

Problems with research into animal-assisted therapy

The idea that contact with an animal can alleviate physical, mental and social difficulties is attractive, but there is still no convincing evidence that specific interventions with specific animals can lead to specific goals for a specific group of patients. Although many animal-assisted therapy studies or programs claim that it leads to significant improvement, virtually all of these studies have been done in small groups, in very different settings, and among people with very different diseases and needs. nine0003

As a result, animal-assisted therapy appears to be just another claim to be a panacea, which diminishes its credibility. Despite the belief in such therapy by many patients and adherents, insurance companies are unlikely to pay for it until more credible scientific research demonstrates what type of animal-assisted therapy, under what conditions and for how long. helps which patients. Evidence is needed to justify the proliferation of both animal visiting programs and animal-assisted therapy. nine0003

The most criticized programs have the least evidence but make the biggest promises. A good example of such a program is the so-called dolphin therapy. Writing for the Washington Post, Katherine Ellison notes, “Does your child have cerebral palsy? Down Syndrome? Autism? Patella injury? Loss of the meaning of life? If so, all you need is a week or two and a few thousand dollars - a growing and dubious global group of entrepreneurs claim they can solve all these problems with simple intimacy with dolphins. nine0003

The criticism of dolphin therapy research reflects many of the problems with animal therapy research in general. First of all, this is the influence of the expectations of the participants in the studies (advertising and claims of a method specialist can greatly influence the judgment of parents), the “non-specific” nature of the dolphin experience (there is no reason to believe that a platypus or a cat will not lead to a similar effect), and also “ novelty effect” (any new experience gives a person energy, but the same result can be achieved by any new and exciting experience). nine0003

In addition, research carried out by marketers will inevitably be biased. This problem, of course, can arise with any type of therapy - studies are carried out by those who already believe in its effectiveness, hope to prove it, and then offer similar services, train other people to provide them, and so on.

Despite potential pitfalls, the field of animal-assisted therapy is maturing and we can expect more research on specific therapies for specific populations in the near future. Again, the idea that interacting with animals leads to attachment, which is lacking in people with ASD, makes such therapy very attractive to families of children with autism. However, this idea seems more reasonable if it is not about a brief contact with an animal during a therapy session, but about a pet with which the child communicates every day. And that brings us to the issue of service dogs for people with autism. nine0003

Service dogs and children with ASD

Service animals can affect the life of a person with a disability much more than the animals they come into contact with during short therapy sessions. Animals can help a person every day as guides, helpers and protectors. Most people know about guide dogs that help people with visual impairments move more freely, but service dogs can perform a variety of functions - pick up and bring things to a person in a chair, open and close doors, help a person with limited mobility when walking. Such animals are specially trained to respond to the needs of a particular person, depending on his or her problems. nine0003

Service dogs can perform many different functions to help a person with ASD, as confirmed by a Canadian study of the experience of 10 families with an autistic child who received such a dog. The scientists observed the experiences of both families and dogs during the initial training period for the family and dog, as well as during subsequent home visits. They also conducted in-depth interviews with most of the families.

What was the job of such service dogs? Firstly, they were protectors, cared for the safety of the child and did not let him run away. Many children with autism tend to run away from safe places, be it home or school, sometimes with tragic consequences. The risk of death or injury as a result of such escapes is very high, and the parents of children who are prone to escapes begin to suffer from excessive vigilance and overwork. In this study, service dogs may have contributed to this situation. The dog was attached to the child using a leash and belt system, but the animal only responded to the commands of the parents and made sure that the child did not leave a safe place. If the child tried to run away, the dogs could interfere with him with their weight, giving family members the opportunity to intervene in time. Even without a harness, while at home, dogs could look after the child so that parents do not have to think about his whereabouts every second. nine0003

In some cases, the dog slept with the child. Temple Grandin, famed animal specialist and autistic individual, could take it easy when her "cuddle machine" provided her with deep pressure. Similarly, the dog helped some children to calm down and fall asleep faster with the help of their body weight. In the words of one parent in the study, “Definitely a dog is the best toy in bed and can alert us if there’s a problem at night and we don’t have to sleep with one eye open listening with half an ear… I get better sleep and that helps a lot.” . I remember when we first brought the dog home, our son slept through the night for the first time in nine years.” nine0003

Families begin to feel freer because of greater security. Dogs often distract restless children, making it easier to transport them in the car, as well as follow them in public places, making it easier for the family to get out of the house. In addition, animals played a very important, but unexpected role - they facilitated any communication with other people. Bystanders, who previously showed discomfort and disapproval in response to the child's unusual behavior, behaved more understandingly in the presence of a service dog. Such a dog signaled that the child had some kind of problem, and also facilitated conversation, because you can always ask something about the dog, and at the same time learn something about autism. According to one study, the dog turned into a "conduit for social capital." For the family of the child with ASD, the animal increased the likelihood of positive social interaction outside the home. nine0003

In addition, Canadian scientists note that some children with ASD have acquired new skills as a result of interacting with a dog. For example, they learned to adapt their step to the dog (and the whole family) during a walk, throw a ball or stroke the dog correctly. Parents reported "reduced anxiety, more calmness, fewer tantrums, less anger, more comfortable sleep patterns." (Of course, less restless and rested parents may simply be better at coping with the children's behavior, but in any case, this is an important effect of the dog's presence, even if indirect). nine0003

What about attachment? The second study focused on the well-being of dogs, and the same team of researchers found that, in general, the dog bonded with parents who were better at "reading" the animal's signals and responding to its needs. Six months after the dogs were placed in families, only 4 out of 10 children showed interest in the dog, which inevitably had consequences for the emotional interaction of children with ASD and service animals. Of course, we are talking about only 10 families, it is quite possible that if you conduct a study among more families and in different conditions, then more than 40% of children will become attached to dogs. nine0003

For example, it has long been noted that girls with autism often become a “special interest” and get along well with them. Perhaps if a child is initially interested in animals, then he is more likely to become attached to a service dog? (Think of Temple Grandin and her strong interest in animals, especially cows and horses.) Will girls with ASD become more attached to animals than boys with ASD? Are there any features that make a child more likely to respond better to a service dog? These questions are yet to be answered. nine0003

One factor that most determined the success of a family's service dog experience was the willingness of the family to work on it. Canadian scientists have found that service dogs work long hours, but don't always get the attention they need. When a dog is wearing a blanket, it is expected to follow commands, ignore distractions, and avoid urination and defecation. Scientists note that hours of hard work, aggression from some children, lack of time for exercise and play negatively affected some dogs. Some of them suffered from sleep interruption. After all, if parents can now sleep peacefully, then the dog often cannot, she gets up and follows the awakened child, who, moreover, can disturb the dog, who dozed off during the day. nine0003

If a dog's needs are not met, the animal's well-being and ability to do its job may be at risk. For example, if a dog is hungry for attention, it may seek it from strangers on the street at a time when it should be focusing on the behavior of a child with ASD.

To sum up, if parents are thinking about getting a service dog, they should understand that it is a mutually beneficial exchange. Although they may wake up less frequently at night, not watch the baby every second, and strangers on the street may become friendlier, they will have to take care of the dog’s physical and emotional state: food, water, grooming, predictable daily routine, work breaks, physical activity, attention, love and play. Such social animals require a lot of attention, and if a child with ASD is unable to provide it, then one of the parents or other family members should provide it. nine0003

Further research

Much more research is needed to help families make decisions about animal therapy. Most useful will be studies on the impact of specific types of these therapies on specific ASD difficulties, as well as studies that will help to understand whether such therapies may not be more beneficial for children with certain characteristics. If our goal is social development, ranging from a simple interest in social interaction to the development of bilateral relations, then it is important to understand how we will describe and measure these factors. nine0003

The idea that ease of communication and unconditional love for dogs and other animals can encourage children with ASD to interact socially and then seek out fellowship with others is intuitive and appealing. But whether this is actually the case, and when this happens, remains to be established. As Lori S. Palley, a veterinary researcher, writes: “The attraction of animal therapy in human medicine is the enthusiasm of its proponents, not the support of the treating physicians. Fully integrating animal-assisted therapy into mainstream medical practice as an acceptable therapeutic approach requires more compelling research to validate its clinical properties as well as understanding the intrinsic mechanisms of human responses to the company of friendly animals.” nine0003

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Methods and treatments, Scientific research


The type of animal therapy using dogs is called canistherapy. The main reason why the dog has such a beneficial effect is its distinctive feature - devotion . Often it is the dog that must fill the vacuum of communication that exists in a person's life. The animal performs the function of psychological replacement, making up for the absence of a loved one. In addition, she is always happy to communicate with a person. It doesn’t matter to her what his appearance and how much money he has, she is delighted with the very fact of his existence and the opportunity to be near him. This distinguishes the dog from the attitude of people who always evaluate each other. Her craving for a person is independent of the latter's political and religious beliefs, of changes in his social position, and sometimes even of her attitude towards herself. nine0002 And that is why both adults and children who lack unconditional love and strive for the free manifestation of emotions are drawn to the dog. Dog pity is not perceived by a person as something humiliating, it sees only what one wants to see - empathy. In addition, dogs are used in therapy more often than other animals, as they easily learn verbal commands and willingly obey them. For example, 95 percent of the animals used in psychotherapy in the United States are animals. Such popularity is also due to the fact that dogs are better at expressing their emotions than other animals, although they are not always more emotional. Therapists say that a sick person is often it is easier to first establish contact with the dog , a friendly, affectionate and grateful creature that accepts a person as he is. Then, gradually, trust in the therapist arises, and without such trust, treatment is ineffective.

Researchers studying the psychological significance of dogs for people with disabilities find that during canistherapy these people talk about "more freedom", feel less alone, more independent, feel more secure. During a six-month course of canistherapy, these people show a significant increase in self-esteem, the development of an internal locus of control, improved psychological well-being and greater sociability. nine0003

So, in one of the studies, 48 ​​people with serious diseases resulting from lesions of the brain or spinal cord, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, were able to communicate with dogs. Half of the group received such an opportunity from the very beginning of the therapeutic process, and the other half (similar to the first in terms of gender, age and type of disease) - only during the second year of therapy. Studies have shown that within 6 months of starting canistherapy, patients showed significant improvements in terms of self-esteem, psychological well-being, and communication skills. Working with dogs, researchers believe, helps lonely, unhappy, isolated people overcome their condition and gain independence, get a feasible job or return to school, make friends and regain psychological well-being. nine0003

Dogs also help to cope with stress , although so far no one can explain the mechanism by which this happens. So, the conducted study of married couples gave interesting results regarding communication in everyday life. It showed that couples who have a dog are more likely to overcome family crises and get out of conflict situations than those who do not have dogs. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that the presence of a dog and the issues that arise in connection with its maintenance provide an opportunity for closer communication, common interests appear, which in turn unites the family. In addition, many people share their problems with dogs and "discuss" their difficulties with them without receiving judgment or misunderstanding in return. nine0003

According to the clinic of neuroses named after Z.P. Solovyov, more than 30 percent of patients undergoing treatment for neuroses - neurasthenia, hysteria, psychasthenia, when a person's second signaling system prevails over the first and the intellect is highly developed, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sensory - phobic neurosis, - the dogs helped. Dogs calm and relieve nervous tension, prevent heart attacks, soften blood pressure surges, relieve or alleviate pain syndromes in sciatica and neuralgia, heal inflammation and improve the patient's condition in many other diseases. nine0003

Currently, canistherapy is also used in the course of individual psychological counseling. The psychological walls erected by clients during the counseling process force counselors to use innovative techniques. Therefore, some consultants use dogs. They believe it is a very effective, goal-oriented therapy that can be successfully used with children and adults with communication, behavioral or depression problems, victims of domestic and sexual violence, and children with autism. nine0003

Used as a component of psychotherapy, they can have a significant impact on the behavior of autistic children. The presence or passive participation of a friendly dog ​​in therapy coincides with a marked improvement in children's behavior and a decrease in autistic manifestations such as self-absorption. The presence of a dog, playing with it, makes therapy more enjoyable and productive and increases the likelihood that the child will want to continue psychotherapy, will make efforts to recover. In the course of communicating with a dog, children begin to communicate more effectively with other people, understand the meaning of non-verbal communication, and this is just one aspect of such therapy. Dogs are also used to establish a trusting relationship with a psychologist. As a result, the therapy process takes less time. Communication with a dog can also be used as a reward for doing the right thing when working with children. nine0003

specially trained animals take part in canistherapy .

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