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Dog-assisted therapy helps autistic and ADHD children

A study from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders in 2013 found that using therapy dogs in sessions with children with ADHD worked successfully.

Can a dog help my autistic or ADHD child?

Dogs are often a source of joy in any home. They give us company, unconditional love, games, affection… As we mentioned before, there are studies carried out by medical professionals that scientifically prove that dogs can be the best assistants and the best cure for children suffering from autism and ADHD, helping them to improve in some aspects.

What are the benefits of animal therapy for autistic and ADHD children?

  • Improve and stimulate their communication skills. To communicate with the dog, the child will try to make himself/herself understood.
  • Breaking that isolation that does not allow them to connect with the world in a spontaneous way.
  • A dog manages to trigger oxytocin levels in children, which means that they help them to secrete the hormone of happiness through unconditional love, attachment, affection, play, joy, laughter, cuddling and, in summary, the incredible bond that they can create with a child, without having to mediate a single word.
  • Oxytocin is the opposite hormone to adrenaline, the stress hormone, so the dog can make the child happier and also keep them away from anxiety or moments of nervousness, which sometimes occur in children suffering from ADHD.
  • The non-verbal language of the animal achieves a non-pressured approach, a help that grows day by day and a security on which the little one at home relies day after day.
  • The bond of friendship that a child creates with his dog makes him feel better, more loved and more understood than ever.
  • Feeding him (find out what is the best natural food for your dog), taking him for walks whenever possible and taking care of the dog in general are small portions of responsibility that will help the child grow and mature.

Sources: Revista Sanitaria de Investigación, 2021 / Journal of Attention Disorders, 2013

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