A Study on the Effectiveness of Therapy Dog Assisted Program(TDAP) for the Autistic Children

치료견 매개프로그램이 자폐아동의 사회성 향상에 미치는 영향

  • Shin, Sung-Ja (Social Welfare Dept. Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Kwon, Shin-Young (Doctoral Program in Social Welfare, Kyungpook National University, Director of Support Service Division for the Family in Crisis, Gajung Community Welfare Center)
  • 신성자 (경북대학교 사회복지학과) ;
  • 권신영 (가정복지회 위기상담센터, 경북대학교)
  • Published : 2000.11.30


This Study concerns therapeutic effects of the Therapy Dog Assisted Program (TDAP) on autistic children. Subjects participating in the study are two groups of Korean elementary schoolboys of the same age (twelve years old) : an experimental group and a control1ed group of equal number of children (sex children in total). Thirteen different sessions of TDAP interventions were performed over a three-month period. Evidence from the present study indicates that the children participating in the TDAP program achieved a greater degree of improvement in their social interactions as well as in their individual activities in comparison with the preTDAP counterparts. The present study also demonstrates significant changes in the TDAP group in comparison with those in the non-participating control group. The results from this study supports that the proposition that the Therapy Dog Assisted Program can be applied effectively in treating people experiencing severely damaged social functioning. Such a program may serve as an effective treatment modality in a variety of clinical social work settings. The questions of long-term effects of the TDAP intervention and possible interference with other behavioral side-effects on the part of the intervened subjects need to be addressed in future studies.