ERIC Number: EJ1085519
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Can a Dog Be Used as a Motivator to Develop Social Interaction and Engagement with Teachers for Students with Autism?
Stevenson, Kathryn; Jarred, Scott; Hinchcliffe, Vivian; Roberts, Kathryn
Support for Learning, v30 n4 p341-363 Nov 2015
Research into children with autism indicates that therapeutic sessions with dogs might provide a way of encouraging social interaction and reducing solitary or repetitive behaviours. With recent educational ASD interventions aimed at providing ways of encouraging intrinsic motivation to socially engage, it is possible that sessions with dogs could be used in a similar way. The present study involved three students with ASD who were given five sessions with a dog and their teacher. Sessions followed a semi-standardised approach and were recorded and coded on social behaviours, with qualitative observations made. Pre and post measures entailed ADOS-2 assessments and teacher questionnaires. Results suggest that students' responses in sessions were highly individual; all showed an increase in meaningful social interactions with dog and teacher, reduction in solitary or repetitive behaviours within the sessions and reported generalisation effects in some areas. The study lends support to the research base on the beneficial impact of dogs for children with autism and suggests that sessions with dogs in school could act as a way to strengthen interactions and engagement with teachers.
Descriptors: Animals, Student Motivation, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Interpersonal Relationship, Therapy, Social Behavior, Diagnostic Tests, Observation, Pretests Posttests, Questionnaires, Teacher Student Relationship, Behavior Problems, Behavior Modification, Students, Teachers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A