Guinea pigs have a positive effect on young people with autism

We know from numerous studies that pets they can have very interesting therapeutic applications. They discuss this in articles such as Cat Therapy or Dog Therapy, but, since this is easy to understand, it is not necessary to use these animals specifically to see the progress of different types of. mental health intervention.

For example, today we know that boys and girls with some form of autism spectrum disorder (POSSESSES) they can find benefits in the company of curious beings: Guinea pigs, also called guinea pigs.

Animals that help people with autism

This is the conclusion reached by a team of American researchers. The article was published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology. Specifically, guinea pigs can influence young people with autism spectrum disorders by reducing anxiety caused by contact with adults and making it easier for them to focus on tasks related to others (or even take the initiative. when interacting with other people).

Generally speaking, these rodents they act as a kind of anxiolytic of social root, because their presence or their company has measurable effects on these boys and girls at the physiological level.


To conduct the study, the group of researchers took as a benchmark a group of boys and girls diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and another group of children without any diagnosed disorder. In total, the sample of volunteers consisted of 99 boys and girls of primary school age.

The research used the level of electrical conductivity of the skin as an objective benchmark measure, a way to indirectly estimate the state of mental activation and stress in children.

To study their level of electrical activation through the skin, bracelets were placed on all the youngsters and then we saw how different activities affected these measurements. The contexts studied to compare the results were:

  • Read silently (for basal results).
  • A school activity that included the need to read aloud.
  • A moment to play freely with toys and with other people of the same age.
  • A moment to play freely with other people of the same age and with guinea pigs.


The researchers found that the electrical activity measured in the skin of children with autism spectrum disorder was higher than that of other young people and in all situations except in play with guinea pigs. Compared to the context in which they could play with toys, playing with guinea pigs produced 43% lower activation level. This was in response to the calming and anti-stress effect these animals seem to have on children with ASD who interact with them.

A therapeutic company

The interesting thing about this type of study focused on the relationship between humans and animals is that the applications of their findings are cheap and easily applicable to many cases. The company of guinea pigs has no negative effects on the young and the use of such measures it can be combined with other therapies and forms of intervention. In addition, animals also enjoy interacting with other living things and appreciate the time spent playing.

There is no doubt that a lot of progress is still needed. Advances not only in intervention measures for people diagnosed with ASD, but also in the type of research aimed at understanding the needs of these people and the ways in which society can adapt to them. For now, pet companies like guinea pigs can make things easier and empower thousands of young people to learn to empathize and engage in social dynamics of all kinds.

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