The Role of Dogs in The Treatment for Autism

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Title: The Role of Dogs in The Treatment for Autism
Author: Bachrach, Alessia
Advisor: Boltz, Marilyn
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to shed some light on the essential role dogs can play in the treatment of children and adults with autism. Although previous research has found that neurotypical humans benefit from interacting with dogs and other animals, the field of autism is only just beginning to explore whether the same interactions could benefit autistic individuals in therapy and in their daily lives. Dogs can provide a wide range of services in aiding the autistic individual and their family with daily living, but also increase the quality of therapy sessions. Besides having a physical effect on the autistic individuals (such as lowered blood pressure and a decrease in cortisol), dogs have been found to have significant, positive effects on their behavioral, emotional, and psychological health. Dogs and animal-assisted therapy alone cannot treat all the symptoms of autism; but in conjunction with other forms of therapy, they can enhance and build upon progress in the autistic individual's treatment.
Subject: Autistic people -- Rehabilitation
Subject: Dogs -- Therapeutic use
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Bachrach, Alessia. "The Role of Dogs in The Treatment for Autism". 2012. Available electronically from

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