Abstract

Thirty-nine adults with severe to profound intellectual disability (ID) were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (n = 21) or a control group (n = 18). Assessment was blinded and included selected items from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), the Behavioral Assessment Battery (BAB), and the Learning Accomplishment Profile (LAP). The experimental group, who attended a dog-assisted treatment intervention over a 20-week period, showed significant improvements in several cognitive domains, including attention to movement (BAB-AM), visuomotor coordination (BAB-VM), exploratory play (BAB-EP), and motor imitation (BAB-CO-MI), as well as in some social skills, as measured by LAP items. Effects were specific to the intervention and independent of age or basic level of disability.

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