Autism support pets are more than companions – LDT

Autism support pets are more than companions – they’re clinical tools to enrich lives

Supporters say animal-assisted intervention for autism bolsters social skills and provides unconditional companionship. But what does scientific research reveal about the value of spending time with a furry friend?

Animals have always been there for Natasha Sheldon-Lane. While humans have often let down the 29-year-old mum of two, animals have been her rock.

When other children were playing with Buzz Lightyear or Spice Girls dolls she was pushing her pet dog Susie, a Jack Russel, around in a pram. She now owns a Dogue de Bordeaux, Lola, three cats, Bob, Mittens, and Tink, and two rabbits, Albert and Snowball.

A “life enhancer, a wellbeing booster, a true autism hero”.

Sheldon-Lane, from Flint, in North Wales, said: “Since I’ve been, well, as big as I can remember I have always preferred animals and being in the house with an animal, whether it be a hamster or a dog, to having friends and people and going out. I have always just been with animals”.

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4 comments on “Autism support pets are more than companions – LDT
  1. Whereislove says:

    I also used to like pushing my pet around in a pram but also liked playing with dolls. Since my pet died I was upset and didn’t want another one but now I’m much older I have decided that I want to get another pet as I would like the company and I feel it would be beneficial to me both at home and going out. I don’t know where to get one from. If anyone has any advice about the best type of dog or the best place to get one I would like to know. I do not necessarily prefer animals to humans of course, but if humans ostracise and bully then it is good to have the companionship of an intelligent animal.

  2. Linda Buchan says:

    I think Rescue Centres are a good place to start as they try to match pets and owners
    But this is not my area of expertise

    • Helen Jones says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with Linda.
      We have rescued three amazing dogs ( one at a time) from rescue centres and they have been very loved and loving companions. It is humbling that a dog in such a predicament will then learn to trust and respond so well to care and love.
      Kindest regards

  3. Linda Buchan says:

    Totally agree Helen

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