Engagement during animal-assisted therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders

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dc.contributor.advisor Kruczek, Theresa A.
dc.contributor.author Rice, Katlyn D.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-19T13:05:39Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-19T13:05:39Z
dc.date.issued 2018-07-21
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/123456789/201252
dc.description.abstract Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has acquired a strong gathering of anecdotal evidence, but is presently limited in empirical validation as an effective intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Further, the heterogeneity of symptom patterns inherently present in the ASD diagnosis arguably makes group-level analyses challenging in deciphering true specificity of change from interventions. Therefore, this study sought to implement a multiple subject case study design to provide greater specificity in how AAT potentially impacts levels of engagement for children with ASD during social skills lessons. This study’s research questions concerned whether observed levels of engagement would increase as compared to off task behaviors, whether parents would observe functional social skill improvements, and whether parents would observe symptomatic improvements for children with ASD over the course of the social skills lessons within the summer camp programming. While the results of this study did not specifically confirm any of the predicted trends, it appears AAT may potentially increase passive engagement in children with ASD. Further, there may be a developmental difference in AAT and social skill intervention that requires further empirical validation. This proposed mechanism of passive engagement during social skills lessons can inform future study on how children with ASD may benefit from the presence of therapy dogs to increase overall skill attainment en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Counseling Psychology, Social Psychology, and Counseling
dc.subject.lcsh Social skills in children -- Case studies.
dc.subject.lcsh Children with autism spectrum disorders -- Psychology -- Case studies.
dc.subject.lcsh Animals -- Therapeutic use -- Case studies.
dc.title Engagement during animal-assisted therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders en_US
dc.title.alternative Engagement and AAT en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US


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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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