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24-04-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 12/2020

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 12/2020

Animal Assisted Therapy for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parent perspectives

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 12/2020
Auteurs:
Maeve Doyle London, Lynette Mackenzie, Meryl Lovarini, Claire Dickson, Alberto Alvarez-Campos
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Maeve Doyle London has now graduated and is resident in the US.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study explores parent perspectives of the impact of five AAT sessions involving trained dogs with their children with ASD. A phenomenological qualitative approach was used to explore first-hand perspectives of parents. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Seventeen parents reported that the presence of the dogs facilitated their children’s engagement, enjoyment, and motivation. Parents also reported that this contributed to gains in the child’s communication with others and the dog (n = 11, 64.7%), behavioral regulation (n = 12, 70.6%), and community participation (n = 14, 82.3%). These findings indicate that parents supported the use of AAT and that dogs facilitated therapeutic gains.

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