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Pets are friends to everybody, including individual with special needs. If your kid is suffering from any behavioral or emotional difficulty, one of the best ways to help such a kid is to get him an emotional support animal.
What is an emotional support animal? It is a companion animal that provides benefits for individuals having a disability, and they are so determined by medical professionals.
Benefits of Having an Emotional Support Animal by Your Kid
Being friendly and loyal, pets can offer emotional support to the kids in their trying times. They will always stay close to the kid and support him emotionally. This will provide the following benefits:
- Interaction: Kids interact socially and verbally for very long. Pets are ever ready for such extended period of interaction, and the pets can respond to the kids’ every activity or prodding, unlike toys.
- Empathy: Pets show a lot of empathy for the kid and tend to do their things in a way that agrees with the kid’s situation. This empathetic disposition on the part of the pet will also inculcate empathy in the kid for other animals and humans.
- Positive mood: Owning and interacting with a pet can help lift the kid’s spirit and keep him in a good mood all day long. Even when an occasion for bad mood arises, the kid can “share” the bad moment with the pet, after all, “a problem shared is half-solved” – as they say.
- Anti-stress: Kids with special needs can manage stress better when they interact with pets; this is also the case with virtually all humans. Having a pet close by can lower cortisol production, which is the hormone implicated in stress. Autistic children, for example, produce a large quantity of this hormone when they wake up in the morning. If the autistic child owns a pet, the amount of cortisol produced by the child can reduce to 10% from 58 %. In fact, there will be an unprecedented spiking of the amount of cortisol the moment the service dog is removed from the child.
- Heart rate and blood pressure management: Lower heart rate and blood pressure have been recorded in kids that are undergoing animal-assisted therapy. Such kids can relax by stroking a pet.
- Learning: Kids with special needs can learn faster and improve in knowledge if they own a pet. However, scientists have not deciphered why such an improvement exists. Be that as it may, it has been noticed that having a pet around them encourage and motivate the kids to complete tasks very fast. It equally increases their concentration, as well as their listening skills.
Before you buy a pet for kids with special needs, find out if the child can handle the noise usually made by some pets, like dogs. For example, a child having anxiety or sensory processing disorder may dislike the barking sound of the dog or squawking sound of a bird. You should also take the cost of feeding and care for the pet into consideration.