Habri has awarded a $24,000 grant to Green Chimneys animal-assisted therapy and educational programs for the new research study, Animal-Assisted Social Skills Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
“This grant to Green Chimneys advances the HABRI Foundation’s mission to better document the effects of animals on human health through scientific research,” said Steven Feldman, HABRI executive director. “Animals can play a positive role in the lives of those with autism, and we look forward to learning more as a result of this study.”
Further exploring the effect of dogs on children with ASD, the purpose of this study is to develop and test an animal-assisted social skills intervention. The 12-week study will include a controlled trial with 32 Green Chimneys students ages 8-15, comparing an animal-assisted social skills group and a traditional social skills training group without an animal present.
“Green Chimneys’ long history of incorporating animal-assisted activities into therapeutic treatment makes it an ideal laboratory for conducting research in the area of human-animal interaction,” said Dr. Steven Klee, Green Chimneys associate executive director of clinical and medical services. “This grant from HABRI will help advance our understanding of HAI, add to the growing pool of data demonstrating the benefits of integrating animals into therapy and ultimately, create strong practice models for treatment professionals.”