These studies indicate that autistic children often form deep bonds with pets, and some research has found that families with autistic children and pets see young kids with improved social skills. As we all have experienced, pets provide companionship and non-judgmental love and support and this can be extremely important for children with autism.
Pets invite children and adults with autism to know a bond they otherwise wouldn’t know… the feeling of companionship. In addition, pets can help children with independence, assertiveness, and confidence.
“Because my son doesn’t engage like most children, it’s hard to for others to tell that he even notices their presence, which is why it’s easy for a lot of kids to brush off being friends with him. But my son knows that Roller loves him just as he is.”
In the Miami Valley, 4 Paws for Ability is an organization that places service dogs with families, including those dealing with autism. They report that they were the first agency in the United States to place highly skilled Autism Assistance dogs with families.