“Kids with autism do not always readily engage with others, but if there is a pet in the home that the child bonds with and a visitor starts asking about the pet, the child may be more likely to respond.”
The study found that when pets where introduced into the classroom setting or the home then children engaged more with one another.
The research focused on 70 families who all had children on the autism spectrum, the children were aged between eight and 8.
Carlisle further added that the children who lived with dogs had greater social skills than those children who did not. However the research also found that any kind of pet, not just that of a dog, could help children with autism in their assertiveness and social skills “such as introducing themselves, asking for information or responding to other people’s questions,”
Source: David Jackman on the Full-Time Whistle website: Children with Autism Who Live With Pets Are More Assertive : Full Time Whistle