Tropical Fish Research
Health Benefits – Glowfish and Autistic Children
A recent article published by About.com titled Glowfish and Autistic Children Shirley Sharpe brings up a controversial subject for many aquarists. I know I am not interested on keeping fish that have been genetically altered for particular characteristics. I also have never been enthralled by painted or cosmetically changed fish either. Personally I think that dying a fish for the viewers personal preferences in colour is not what keeping fish is all about. I have also always felt that adding dyes will probably be dangerous for the fish as well.
However, Shirley Sharpe does make the comment that there might be times where this type of fish could be considered beneficial for certain individuals:
But when I saw another person looking at them I asked what she thought and her answer made me think – there is a place for these fish. These fish are beautiful in their own right and do not know how they became to glo as they do. They now exist good or bad to give us pleasure and to enjoy lives in our aquariums as well as for science.
This person has an autistic son who she states is calmed by watching these glo fish in a tank by his bed and they help him go to sleep. Something he had difficulty with before. Please put your focus on banning those fish tattooed and painted as well as the practice of selling baby future monster fish to the unsuspecting.
It is quite possible that particular colours will be better perceived by a child than others.
Natural colours are often quite vivid, but if a particular fish can help sooth an afflicted child, there is little I can argue against the fish being available for him. We have considered the health benefits of tropical fish for many ailments. Glowfish and autistic children is a first, though. Watching a fish tank has been seen to reduce stress before oral surgery and increase the appetite of an Alzheimer patient. It just seems to make a lot of sense that a small fish tank near an autistic boy’s bed could help him to sleep. Whether it si the actual colour of the fish, or the gentle sounds of the pump and water movement, it is still an important way to help get vital sleep.