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Conference papers

Autistic children and pets relationships

Abstract : Autism is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by core deficits in three domains: social interaction, communication, and repetitive or stereotypic behavior. Impairments in communication are commonly associated with impaired social information processing (e.g. auditory process) which explain in part the autistic withdrawal (Gervais et al 2004). However with animals, both physical and social isolation altered the development of the auditory area and processing (Cousillas et al 2006). Moreover social withdrawal could have the same impact as physical separation (Hausberger & Gombert 2007). Is atypical social information processing the cause or the consequence of social withdrawal in autism? Humans could be a social substitute for other species especially when individuals are in social isolation (starling; Rousseau et al soumis). Being social substitute are widely known for pets. It seems to be crucial for both cognitive and social development of children in particular for autistic children. In numerous cases the observations suggested that autistic children improve their social communicative skills thanks to pets. No controlled and standardized study exists whereas these observations are widely reported. Thus, the aims of this PhD research project are to collect data to understand (1) which are the social environment influences on the autistic children development, (2) how begin and develop autistic children and pets relationship, (3) which are the privileged sensorial channels in the relation and (4) which social and cognitive improvements could be observed. The research is composed of three methodologies: (1) Statistical approach with a parental survey, (2) Descriptive approach with ethological observations of the relations with familiar pets & (3) Experimental approach with ethological observations of interactions with a non familiar pet. First findings are full of promise and open several thought ways about autistic children and pets relationships.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 19, 2016 - 2:00:06 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 11:34:50 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01354750, version 1


Marine Grandgeorge. Autistic children and pets relationships. Annual Ph.D. students meeting, Unine - Université de Neuchâtel, Apr 2009, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. ⟨hal-01354750⟩



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