A pet can prove therapeutic for children with autism

Researchers in France compared reported behaviour of 260 individuals with autism aged 6–34 years in homes with and without pets.

They found children who experienced the arrival of a new pet after the age of five were more likely to change their behaviour in offering to share and empathising compared to those never owning a pet.

However there was no difference between children with autism who had a pet since birth compared to never-owners of a pet.

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