Therapy Goats Provide Comfort and Friendship to California Boy With Autism

The two pygmy goats and a boy with autism have a close bond.

"He is just a big animal lover," Alicia Seaton, the mother of Jackson, 16, told ABC News today. "As with all animals, they don’t require you to do anything but love them and care for them and they love you back. And it’s unconditional."

Seaton said that the two goats have motivated Jackson to come out of his shell and talk more. He previously struggled with expressing himself verbally.

"Now he is motivated to talk about his goats. His speech teacher has noticed that he is a lot more verbal."

Kathy Griffith, owner of Griffiths Pygmies, raised and trained Jackson's goats, and told ABC News today that she has trained a total of six goats to work with people with autism.

"They're therapy goats. The goats are oftentimes smarter than the dogs are," Griffith said. "They’re companion animals."

She added that Jackson's goats have bonded with the teen.

"He is a piano prodigy, but those social skills are lacking, so he literally will sit there with Jasper, and he holds Jasper's head and Jasper won’t move," Griffith said of Jackson. "When he starts talking, Jasper just sits there listening.

"It has given companionship," Griffith added. "It has also helped him dramatically with socialization."

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