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Autism Spectrum Disorders

Our Autism Spectrum Disorder teams include a clinician experienced in working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders and one of our many therapy animals. All of our clinicians have received advanced training and certification on how to integrate their animals into the therapeutic process. These teams work with families to establish specific goals. While initial stages of treatment involve our therapy animals, in some cases the team may recommend Filial Pet Therapy, an approach that involves integrating the family pet into therapeutic interactions. 

Individuals on the spectrum may have challenges in the following areas

Social Skills - lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people (e.g. by a lack of showing, bringing or pointing out objects of interest to other people)

Communication Skills - delay in or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime)

Behavior - encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus

Goals in therapy may include

  • Social and emotional development

  • Theory of mind skill

  • Communication skills

  • Relationship skills

  • Behavior modification

  • Self expression

  • Problem-solving

An animal in session can help with

  • Emotional awareness and regulation

  • Behavioral management skills and behavioral improvements

  • Skill acquisition

    • Communication skills

    • Gross and fine motor

    • Care taking

  • Appropriate social interaction and feedback about social skills

  • Assertiveness

  • Making therapy fun and engaging

In sessions with children with autism, animals can

  • Provoke attention and engagement

  • Reinforce task acquisition and completion

  • Stimulate conversation and social interaction

  • Provide opportunities for sensory integration

Studies have found that in AAP sessions, children with autism

  • Have an increase in socially appropriate and prosocial behavior

  • Show fewer autistic behaviors (e.g. hand flapping, humming, spinning objects, jumping)

  • Were less easily distracted

  • Were more likely to engage in conversation and discussion, often about the animal

To learn more about how one of our Professional Therapy Teams can help, or to schedule a consultation, you can contact us at: 720-266-4444, or send us a confidential email. We look forward to working with you.

7-30-19 (40).NEF

Ready to talk?

Give us a call at 720-266-2444 or email Please have ready: your full name, date of birth, email, phone, and insurance info. 

Individual Services

Child Therapy

Therapy for children ages 3 - 10

Adolescent Therapy

Therapy for adolescents ages 11 - 18

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Therapy for people on the spectrum

Filial Pet Therapy

Integrating the family pet into therapeutic interactions.

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