24-04-2020 | Original Paper
Animal Assisted Therapy for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parent perspectives
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders | Uitgave 12/2020Log in om toegang te krijgen
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.