Can a pet improve the social skills of an Autistic Child?

Can a pet improve the social skills of an Autistic Child?

A recent study suggests that having pet like cats, dogs and other animals may help autistic children with their social skills.  Their study was done by a researcher from the University of Missouri.  Previous studies had only studied the positive impact that dogs might have had on their pets.  The subjects in the survey ranged from 8 to 18 years in age.  As it turns out, kids in this study were more had better social skills than other children with autism that did not have pets at home.

I find it interesting that pets can potentially have such a positive impact on kids with Autism.  There are also other things that parents can do in improving an autistic child’s social and behavioral skills.  If you need more help with understanding how to handle your child’s autism please contact my office for an appointment.

Dr. Shah, MD





The Social Skills and Attachment to Dogs of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Gretchen K. Carlisle, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2267-7, published online 12 October 2014, abstract.

University of Missouri news release accessed 31 December 2014.