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Understanding autism
Understanding autism

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7.4 Animal-assisted interventions

There have been some enthusiastic media reports and documentaries about animal-assisted interventions, for instance horseback riding or having a pet in the family home. Advocates claim that contact with animals reduces stress, helping children to focus their attention and communicate better, promoting learning and increased sociability. Arabella, mother of Iris Grace, reports that acquiring a Maine Coon cat, Thula, played a remarkable role in helping Iris to overcome hypersensitivities and anxiety, such as a sensory aversion to certain clothes and fear of water. In this clip, Arabella talks about how Iris changed and developed when Thula joined the family.

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