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Study Shows that Dogs Help Children with Autism Adapt - featured October 20, 2010

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[Source: ScienceDaily] -- Dogs may not only be man's best friend, they may also have a special role in the lives of children with special needs. According to a new Université de Montreal study, specifically trained service dogs can help reduce the anxiety and enhance the socialization skills of children with Autism Syndrome Disorders (ASDs).

The findings, published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, may be a relatively simple solution to help affected children and their families cope with these challenging disorders.

"Our findings showed that the dogs had a clear impact on the children's stress hormone levels," says Sonia Lupien, senior researcher and a professor at the Université de Montréal Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress at Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, "I have not seen such a dramatic effect before."

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Tags: News of the Week Animal-Assisted Therapy Autism Newsletter 22 October 2010