Dogs and Autism
Dogs can treat various elements of autism. They help particularly in the extroversion of people with autism. They improve self confidence and communication which contributes greatly to increased socialization skills. They also increase emotional bonds . Apart from the psychological balance dogs provide, they also improve fine and gross motor cordination even help in verbal communication.
Other advantages offered by the cohabitation of an autistic person with a pet dog are stress reduction, increased responsibility and an increased sense of companionship.
This is the reason they are called Therapy Dogs.
Therapy Dog Ivi and Anit
The Founder of "Pawsitive" Georgia Exezidou is as mentioned, a mother of a young boy named Anit, who was diagnosed with autism on November 2015, He was three years old at the time.
Since then, Anit has been attending speech therapy, ergo therapy (also known as vocational therapy), play therapy, horseback riding and anything else his parents can find for him. Ivi the half breed pitbull was adopted by Anit’s family on December 2015. The change in Anit’s behavior was immediate. From the first moment, He did not hesitate to approach and touch Ivi.
After only a month of sharing his home with Ivi, Anit began to participate in group activities, for the first time at the nursery school he had been attending for the past two years. At the same time he started to verbally communicate by using single words.
After only 2 months with Ivi, Anit began expressing his emotions, something that is often not seen in Autistic children at that age. Anit has already gained so much from Ivi, and it looks like he will gain much more.