A study was performed to find out how children with Autism bond with dogs. Because most children with autism disorders are often socially inhibited and have trouble interacting with others, dogs are a positive solution because of their unconditional, non judgmental love. It gives children with social inhibitions the chance to open up to someone without being judged. In this way, dogs can almost act as a social bridge because the children with autism can open up to their peers to pet or play with their dog, which will then create a bond between the children.
A research fellow at the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine conducted interviews with the parents of 70 children with autism, two thirds of which owned dogs. Of those families, 94% of parents said that their child bonded with the dog in the house, and 70% of all of the parents in the study said that their child gets along well with dogs.
While all dog owners know the benefits of having a dog for themselves, this is a new way to look at the unconditional love that our dogs provide us with as a benefit for children with autism, and possibly other disorders.