Changes in behavioural synchrony during dog-assisted therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder and children with Down syndrome

Richard Eric Griffioen*, Steffie van der Steen, Theo Verheggen, Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers, Ralf Cox

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

9 Citaten (Scopus)
315 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Dog-assisted therapy (DAT) is hypothesized to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Down syndrome (DS).

METHODS: The present authors compared synchronous movement patterns of these children (n = 10) and their therapy dogs during the first and last session of a DAT programme, and their post-therapy changes in emotional and behavioural problems.

RESULTS: The present authors found a significant increase in synchrony between child and therapy dog over time. Exploratory analyses suggest more synchrony between children with ASD and their therapy dogs, compared to the children with DS.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to test the synchrony hypothesis, shedding light upon a mechanism that may underlie the effect of DAT and how this may be different for children with ASD and DS.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)398-408
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum6-dec-2019
StatusPublished - mei-2020

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