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Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapies

Animal-assisted activities are a group of interventions in which animals and their handlers interact with one or more people for comfort or recreation.

Animal therapies (also known as pet therapy) are a group interventions which use a more formal, structured set of sessions to help people reach specific goals in their treatment.

In practice, all animal-assisted activies or therapies involve people interacting with animals in one form or another. For example, a person on the autism spectrum may use an assistance dog, swim with or touch dolphins, learn to ride and groom a horse, or keep a pet hamster.

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About This Glossary

This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.