Newsviews: Animals used to encourage social behavior in those with autism

WLS logo
Sunday, May 3, 2015
News Views Part 2
News Views Sunday May 3, 2015

BROOKFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- As many as one in 68 children has autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a result, those children may communicate, interact, behave and learn differently from most other people.

But research has found the presence of animals can increase positive social behaviors. Based on that, Brookfield Zoo and Advocate Children's Hospital have launched a first of its kind program. Children take part in animal-centric and other activities at the zoo. They're all aimed at improving social, motor and sensory skills.

Joining us this week is Matthew Mayer, senior vice president of social innovation and sustainability for the Chicago Zoological Society, and Dr. Jonna Gattuso, a clinical psychology post-doctoral fellow at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Part one

Part two