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Aa family pet can lead to strong bonds and reduced stress for both children with autism and their parents. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a family pet can lead to strong bonds and reduced stress for both children with autism and their parents.

According to the study, parents of children with autism report higher levels of stress on average than parents of typically developing kids.


“Some kids with autism have specific sensitivities, so a big, loud dog that is highly active might cause sensory overload for a particular child, while a quiet cat may be a better fit,” said study researcher Gretchen Carlisle from the University of Missouri in the US.

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“My goal is to provide parents with evidence-based information so they can make informed choices for their families,” Carlisle added.

For the results, the research team surveyed more than 700 families from the ‘Interactive Autism Network’ on the benefits and burdens of having a dog or cat in the family.


Having a family pet can help increase social interaction and decrease anxiety. Pixabay

They found that despite the responsibility of pet care, both children with autism and their parents reported strong bonds with their pets. Pet ownership was not related to parent stress, and parents with multiple pets reported more benefits.

“Given that the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder are so broad, it can be difficult to identify interventions that are widely beneficial,” Carlisle said. Some of the core challenges that children with autism face include anxiety and difficulty communicating.

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“As pets can help increase social interaction and decrease anxiety, we found that they are not only helpful in providing comfort and support to children with autism, but to their parents as well,” she said.

For parents considering adding a pet into their family, Carlisle recommends including the child in the decision and making sure the pet’s activity level is a good match with the child’s. (IANS)


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

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