Sunday, December 26, 2010

British researchers to study positive relationship between dogs, autistic children

From Craegmoor News:

There has been plenty of anecdotal evidence from parents of young people with autism that dogs can forge a special relationship with their children.

Now animal behaviour experts from the University of Lincoln, the National Autistic Society and Dogs for the Disabled will try to scientifically prove such claims by launching the Parents Autism Workshops and Support (PAWS) research project, the Lincolnshire Echo reported.

Professor Daniel Mills, who is overseeing the project, was quoted by the newspaper as saying: "There is an enormous amount of anecdotal information out there to suggest that dogs can not only help children with autism spectrum disorder, but also that they may help alleviate stress within the family more generally," said Professor Mills.

"There is, however, a lack of good science to show exactly what the effect is or how reliable it is.

"We hope through this study to be able to pinpoint and quantify specific benefits for carers so they can have realistic expectations and get the most from their relationship with a dog."