Jul 19

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Therapy Cats Provide Dramatic Autism Support

Therapy Cats Provide Dramatic Autism Support

Therapy Cats Provide Dramatic Autism Support

I know you have heard of therapy dogs, but have you heard of therapy cats?

A recent news story featured Iris Grace Halmshaw and her cat Thula. The little girl, who has autism, has a deep connection to her pet, and Thula is also attached to her. Iris is just one example of the many autistic children who have formed bonds with their cats. The children benefit in multiple ways and improve their social skills while the pets become their best friends.

Therapy cats are turning into a common phenomenon for children with autism. Researchers have tried to study this trend, but it is the positive stories from families that are encouraging others to try the method. Iris’ parents initially tried dogs and horses as potential therapy animals, but Iris did not respond to them. However, after Thula the cat appeared in Iris’ life, she became happier, more responsive and willing to try new activities. Thula is able to calm Iris down and distract her. She has made a dramatic difference in the little girl’s life. 

Pets can encourage children with autism to interact with their environments and improve their social skills. In Iris’ case, her language skills improved as she learned to communicate with her cat. Researchers have noted that pets can help coax autistic children out of their shells. Therapy cats and other animals can help them learn empathy, increase sharing and offer comfort.

Parents report that therapy animals help their kids interact with others, learn new skills and make eye contact. These children are more willing to speak, study and listen. The unconditional love that pets provide helps kids feel more at peace in their surroundings and helps them feel more comfortable with new activities. 

The connection between cats and their owners is helping children with autism overcome multiple challenges. Some families have reported dramatic improvements in their children after therapy cats appeared in their lives.

I have always loved cats!  I know there are some who are very allergic to cats, thankfully Iris was not!  For those of you who can tolerate cats, maybe this would be a very welcome help for an autistic child!

Permanent link to this article: https://inspiringwordsfromtheheart.com/19224-2/

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