AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD) - How the Human-Animal Bond Can Help

Research strongly indicates that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) benefit from interaction with animals.


A review of current literature on the effectiveness of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) for children with ASD found AAI to be effective in:

  • Increasing social functioning seen through
  • Increased social awareness
  • Increased social interaction
  • Decreased social isolation
  • Increased social motivation
  • Increased social skills and behaviors
  • Increasing safety, independence and socio-emotional functioning

Another study found that in the presence of companion animals, children with ASD demonstrated:

  • Increased display of social behaviors including talking, making physical contact and looking at faces.
  • Improved positive social behaviors including becoming more receptive to social advances from peers.