For those of us who have had pets in our lives, it's no surprise to learn that interactions with animals have multiple benefits. It's also no surprise to learn that animals are being used as a form of autism therapy. A study was conducted recently, entitled "The Effects of Animal Assisted Therapy on a Child with Autism". The results of the study were interesting. Once Zachary, a boy with autism who struggled to communicate, met and bonded with a dog named Henry, he went through a transformation. His self assurance level increased, and he completed his first sentence.

Studies also show that when autistic children play with animals, any violent tendencies they have typically disappear. Autistic children can learn decision making skills, problem-solving skills, and both language and social skills through interactions with animals.

CDS recognizes the importance of the interaction with animals and autistic children and will host an event on April 23, 2010 at our Wolf Life Transitions Center. The event will feature a moon bounce, therapeutic toys, cotton candy machine, face painting, balloon animals, and therapy dogs & ponies. The event is free for autistic children and their siblings. Visit http://www.cdsunistel.org/FollowCDS/Events/Detail/?id=28 for all of the details.

Did you know that CDS offers an Autism Skill Building Program, which is designed to help individuals with Autism increase their skill development?

Participants work on increasing their socialization skills, handling their own emotions, and recognizing stress while developing techniques to cope with stress. The program offers great opportunities for peer interaction & support and is open to children ages 6-16. The group meets Monday- Friday for two hours afterschool. For more information, contact Jennifer LeTendre at 347-1075.

Help Celebrate Autism throughout the month of April.

Sincerely,

Sankar Sewnauth

President/CEO

CDS, Inc.

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