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Guinea pigs have a positive effect on young people with Autism

Guinea pigs have a positive effect on young people with Autism

November 27, 2021

We know from many studies that domestic animals they can have very interesting therapeutic applications. We comment on articles like the one of the therapy or the one of the therapy with dogs, but, as it is easy to intuit, it is not necessary to use these animals specifically to see progress in different types of intervention in mental health.

For example, today we know that children with some form of autism spectrum disorder (TORCH ) You can find benefits in the company of some curious beings : the guinea pigs, also known as guinea pigs.

Animals that help people with Autism

That is the conclusion reached by a team of American researchers whose article has been published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology. Specifically, guinea pigs can influence young people with autism spectrum disorders by cushioning the 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 adults). the rest of the people).

Generally speaking, these rodents they act as a kind of anxiolytic of social root, since its presence or company has some effects on these children that are medically measurable.


To carry out the study, the group of researchers took as a reference a group of children diagnosed with some disorder of the autistic spectrum and another group of children without any diagnosed disorder. In total, the sample of volunteers was composed of 99 boys and girls of primary school age.

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

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

  • Read silently (to obtain baseline results).
  • An activity at school that included having to read aloud.
  • A time to play freely with toys and with other people of the same age.
  • A while to play freely with other people of the same age and with guinea pigs.


The researchers verified how the electrical activity measured in the skin of boys and girls with autism spectrum disorder was greater than that of the rest of young people and all situations except in the game with guinea pigs. In comparison to the context in which they could play with toys, the game with guinea pigs produced a lower activation level by 43% . This responded to the reassuring and anti-stress effect that these animals seem to have on children with ASD who interact with them.

A therapeutic company

The interesting thing about this type of studies focused on the relationships between humans and animals is that the applications of their discoveries are cheap and easily applicable in many cases. The guinea pig company has no negative effects on young people and the use of this type of measures can be combined with other therapies and forms of intervention . In addition, animals also enjoy interaction with other living beings and appreciate the moments dedicated to the game.

There is no doubt that many advances are still lacking. Progress not only in terms of intervention measures for people diagnosed with ASD, but also in the type of research aimed at knowing the needs of these people and the ways in which society can adapt to them. For now, the company of domestic animals such as guinea pigs can make things easier and make it easier for thousands of young people to learn to empathize and get involved in social dynamics of all kinds.

"How Guinea Pigs Help Autistic Children" - An Informative Speech (November 2021).

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