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Pets offer a bevy of social benefits: they provide friendship, reduce loneliness and alleviate anxiety. It’s no surprise that animals, especially dogs bring positivity into our lives; humans began to domesticate dogs for hunting and companionship thousands of years ago, indicating our strong bond.
Socialization is often one of the biggest challenges for those with autism, especially children. However, significant research finds that spending time with dogs offers benefits for autistic persons, whether young or old. A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing reports that of the two-thirds of the families surveyed who had dogs, 94 percent said their child bonded strongly with the pet. For families who didn’t have a dog as pets, 7 out of 10 parents indicated their child had a positive experience with the animal.