Elephants interacting with Thai children who have autism
May 16, 2011
For some autistic children in Thailand, scientists have found positive effects in the children's developmental skills through interactions with elephants, according to a recent report from CBS News.
Nuntanee Satiansukpong is the head of occupational therapy at Chaing Mai University. Nuntanee led the effort to use elephants as an animal therapy method for autistic children.
"The elephant is such a big stimulus it can keep the attention of an individual longer, and since it is such a wonderful animal bonding can occur. If we can drag the children out of their own world they will be better," says Nuntanee.
Animal therapy has been used before, involving dogs, horses as well as dolphins. The results are varied, but positive results have been reported.
According to Defenders.org, elephants are very intelligent animals and have long memories. They also form deep familial relationships and live in matriarchal groups.