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Children with Autism: Connections with Animals

animals kids pets Mar 31, 2019

Many people with autism and other social challenges have connections with animals. Whether the animals are real or even “stuffed”, animals bring a sense of peace and calmness to a child or even adult on the spectrum. This is for several different reasons, and the reasons make sense. Think about all of the people who don’t have autism who have a love for animals! There is just a way that non-human beings make us feel secure and comforted. Here are a few reasons why a person with autism may feel very connected to our furry friends.

Communication

This is huge. Animals cannot communicate in words, and many children with autism are still working on this. Even those that can communicate still have challenges, and animals just give them a sense of comfort. Animals are great to spend time with because they are predictable (except for puppies and kittens!) in their demeanor and movements. Domesticated animals, such as older dogs and cats may be ideal for your child with...

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Social Story Character: Tyler

Name: Tyler

5 Favorite Hobbies:

  1. Writing
  2. Snowboarding
  3. Dancing
  4. Reading
  5. Competing (in sports or other games that can be challenging)

5 Favorite Things:

  1. Animals
  2. Toys
  3. Video Games
  4. Things that go fast (cars, planes, and trains for example)
  5. Music

5 Strengths:

  1. A colorful mind in the world of imagination (cleverly creative)
  2. Open minded to any kind of entertainment such as music and movies
  3. Fearless
  4. Focused
  5. Fast learner

5 Weaknesses:

  1. Finding his words in the correct order when talking
  2. Gets a bit upset when people don’t understand him or when they see him as questionable
  3. Facial expressions can be difficult at times when expressing emotion
  4. Loud noises and vibration on the ground is overwhelming
  5. Embarrassing moments keep coming back to him, and whenever he thinks of them, he’s not fully in the present. Extremely hard to forget them and wishing it could have all been different.

Family: Divorced parents and raised by his mother from the time he was eight years old; his father is...

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Animals

What do you think? Do animals help children with autism? Why do animals tend to be a fascinating topic for me when it comes to the subject of autism? To me, it's because there are times where I can relate to them.

  • Quiet
  • Curious
  • Mysterious
  • Pretty to look at
  • Fearless
  • Calm
  • Relaxed

Some examples of a cat, and I do tend to like cats. Dogs too, but cats can be a bit more quieter at times. Many of these animals can relate in some way, even if it's a bear. I don't encourage others to have bears for pets, but thinking out loud, if I were to be sitting by a river stream and a bear comes up close to me, I would remain calm, look at the bear for a moment, and keep watching the stream. Not causing any harm, no cubs in the area, not catching any fish, just sitting there. Not a bear expert by any means, but that's what I think I would do. The way I kind of see animals is that it is neat to talk like them too. Talking to them without making a single sound; So relaxed body movements, eye contacts,...

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