my son has autism and is really has a big fear or animals need advice what to do ??

Leanne - posted on 08/20/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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i try not to avoid not going to the park, and places where there are animals but it not getting any better is anyone else's kids got the same problem or any advice please reallyt need help

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Kit - posted on 08/20/2009

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How severe is his fear? My daughter is afraid of dogs too. What I did was to expose her to very calm dogs first. If the dog sat there without moving she initially screamed but calmed down when the dog didn't move unexpectedly. I just kept talking to her calling it a dog and that it wasn't going to hurt her. She is still afraid of very jumpy dogs, but tolerates calm ones. I think it is a slow process and the more your child is exposed without being hurt or scared the better it gets. Good luck!

Alicia - posted on 08/20/2009

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Hi Leanne. I hope you are able to find a solution on here. My advice would be to talk to your child's psychiatrist / or therapist if he has one. I had to start slowly with my son on his fear. He had a fear of dogs. I started with photos of dogs, moved on to stuffed animals and, when he tolerated that, I would take him to a friend's house that had a small dog. Eventually, I would take him to pet stores where all the dogs were behind glass or in a cage. It took a long time, but he eventually overcame his fear. He is still not a big fan of dogs and strongly prefers cats - but at least he is not terrified of them anymore.

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User - posted on 01/09/2014

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My son is 20 has severe autism and also very very afraid of animals. I just got a new kitten and it has been hell. I was hoping he would just be indifferent to her but she has already triggered a meltdown when she got too close to him. I love this kitten and want to keep her. I am hoping once the kitten settles down my son will just ignore her. I have been keeping the kitten in the basement when my son is home. He doesnt mind if i am holding her but if she goes near him he screams. I gave him a squirt gun to squirt her and she thinks its a game. I should also mention that animals are attracted to my son like moths to a flame. Sigh!

Lmblake84 - posted on 07/21/2013

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My son has Artism and he don't like dogs. I have a dog in my house. But he stays in his room because the dog is in my room. I just wounder when his fear will go away. Anyone have any advice for me if you have advice just post it for Miss Blake Thank you for your advice

Cheryl - posted on 07/19/2011

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how did you make out on this? I see this post is rather old. My son too has an extreme fear of animals and also has autism... I am finding this an even more serious issue now as his fear is so severe that I am afraid he could bolt into traffic or something if he sees one. He is so scared..... He is older now, he is 17.... it really makes it hard out there in the world... It saddens me so to see such fear for him. we have tried desensitizing any way we can, it has helped a very little. but only when we know it is is there ahead of time. we keep trying exposing him to animals. horses, dogs, there is a support dog at his school, they try to get him to walk but he is still so scared. I think it is just the unpredictability of animals. but he does have severe fear in other areas too. I read this is very very common w/children w/hyperlexia, which he has as well as autism. any ideas I am still longing to hear about. or just talk about w/someone.

Michelle - posted on 02/27/2011

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I know you posted this along time ago, I was doing a google search on why kids with autism are afraid of animals. My son is 10 years old and will not go visit people, go to the neighbors house due to dogs that are lose. It is really quite a problem but he does have a hamster, 3 fish and a hermit in his room that he loves but doesn't touch, maybe exposing him to samll animals like those might help him but if a stink bug or anything else gets in the house my son will hear it or see it before any of us. I just wanted to know what makes them so on guard at all times.

Leanne - posted on 08/21/2009

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thanks for all of your replys i do hope that there is at the end of the tunnel, i have already started doing some of these things so keep me fingers crosses.

Julie - posted on 08/20/2009

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Like the others have said, the key is to just give him time. My son has a fear of all animals, but when given enough time (usually several days) he has warmed up to our friend's dog and my sister's cat. He has even touched them a couple of times. He has to be the one to approach them on his own. If an animal walks toward him he will run away or climb on furniture, but at least he doesn't climb me screaming anymore. I would suggest you keep exposing him to animals, but do it gradually and don't force it.

Michelle - posted on 08/20/2009

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My son Loves dogs and horses BUT - he didn't until he understood that animals have personalities and feelings. Now he still refuses to get on a horse (which he has done a thousand times) until he introduces himself to the horse and talks to it. Dogs are the same way - he treats them like humans. He is slow to warm to them but eventually accepts them. You might start talking about animals like people. We say to avoid strange people - same with animals. Give him skills on how to avoid and how to make the contact. He needs strict rules that he can follow each time he sees an animal. It will take time - like everything with our kids - but he will eventually learn a script for each situation. Step one - strange dog coming - I can move to the other side of the path.... like that. If your son is capable - mine isnt - have him help make the scripts. Have him say - what is our script with this animal? If he cant understand that then you can just use the same vocabulary each time. Andrew ignores some animals and absolutely hangs on others. Good luck.

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