Friday, April 14, 2017

Masterpost

Autism Fact: Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike).

Autism and Pets:  Children on the spectrum displayed a sharp drop in anxiety and social stress when playing with animals as compared to engaging in other activities whether independently or with their peers, the study found. (source

We have a cat.  A small, gray tabby named Hope.  What she doesn't have in size, she makes up for in attitude.  She's 10, which means we got her when our daughter, who as Asperger's, was 6.  It was a particularly stressful time for us.  We'd just lost our house in a fire and were living in limbo in a rental while we rebuilt, and it wasn't until we were settled in our 'new' home that Bailey and Hope started to become friends, and it was a few years after that when they became best friends.

Bailey now is a bit cat obsessed, making friends with just about any feline she comes across.

I asked her a few questions:

What is it you like about cats?
Everything.
Can you be more specific?
No.

What is is that you like about Hope specifically?
She's nice and friendly.  She's very soft, and she likes to snuggle.

What do you think, as someone on the autism spectrum, are the benefits of having a cat?
She can give me what no one else can.  Humans can't be a cat.

We talked a little more about it.  Hope seems to be able to sense when Bailey is upset, and will force herself into Bailey's space, effectively forcing comfort on her.  Bailey also said that it's a bit of a texture thing.  Hope is very soft, and petting her can help Bailey calm down.
We actually put a cat door on Bailey's bedroom door so that Hope can come and go as she pleases.  It's one of the best home improvements we've ever done.

There are several small businesses in our area who have store cats.  I don't dare go to any of them if Bailey isn't with me.  If there's a cat around, she's much more likely to talk to the people in the store while she pets the cat.  It allows her to split her focus, and takes some of the stress out of interacting with strangers.

We do have a dog, but Bailey just tolerates her.  She says she's 'too annoying.'  So, cats it is!

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I haven't written anything original in a long time, though it remains on my list of things to do.  Instead, I've opened an Etsy store and have been doing local craft shows, selling handmade jewelry, comic book art, and paper art.  You can visit my store here.  You can sign up for my newsletter here (published 1-2 times per month, your email address is never shared).

Want to win a $10 Etsy gift card?  Comment below with your favorite animal!

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4/18/17  Thanks to all who commented!  I had my daughter chose a number between 1-9 (the number of comments), and she chose 4, which makes the 4th comment the winner.  

12 comments:

  1. Thank you for participating in RJ's Autism Awareness Blog Hop. I loved your story about Bailey and Hope. It is precious, that your daughter functions better when Hope is around.
    My favorite animal would be the big cats: (snow) tiger, panther, leopard. They are majestic.

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  2. Thank you for participating in RJ's Autism Awareness Blog Hop. My favorite animal has always been the chipmunk. i have always found them very cute and fun to watch when i was at my aunts cottage

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  4. I've always been a big fan of dogs. Seeing any kind of dog puts a smile on my face. I also like tigers.

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  5. Thanks for the post! My son loves cats too. He is his most gentle and calm when with our cat. And makes friends with cats wherever we go. I am a dog and cat person, but if I had to pick one it would be a cat.

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    1. You're the Etsy gift card winner. Please reply here or send your email address to me at ajhendersonwriter@gmail.com

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  6. Thank you for sharing. My favorite animal is any type of cat. I have always had to have a cat and anytime I was upset my cat would cuddle with me.

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  7. Thanks for participating in RJ's Autism blog hop. Bless your pets for all the love that they give your family. Answering your question, I love dogs especially the Border Collie ones. ^_^

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  8. Thank you for the post and for taking part in the hop! I like owls, they're really cute. The link to your etsy isn't directing to your page.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know! I've corrected it.

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  9. Thank you for the post. As for the question, cats, hands down. I'm actually writing this with my cat Lula purring on my lap...

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  10. I love hummingbirds!

    --Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

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