Does your child with #Autism benefit from animals?

This one is pretty simple.  Does your child with #Autism benefit from animals? Does your child have a favorite pet,  maybe a dog or a cat?  Has this pet helped your child in anyway? For example, does you child have a special bond or relationship with their pet?

Please share your experience in the comments?  I would love to hear your stories.  🙂

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Dogs are the only being in this world so far that I can touch and be touched by without grimacing in discomfort. I talk to my pets and cuddle them more than even my boyfriend. When I'm feeling down my little mutt comes up to me and licks my face. When I first got her and I was melting down over stress related to mom not getting along with her, she cuddled up in my arms and fell asleep there. I could not live without one.


Jamie is increasingly aggressive.  But he loves one of the cats.  It took him forever to not be afraid of her, and to make friends.  Now she'll come when he calls, and he pets her.
When he's in a rage, he'll try going to the cat, and the cat runs away.  He sort of gets that he needs to calm down so that he can pet her.  Telling him that Trouble is afraid of him and won't come near him seems to penetrate that little head.
Of course, I don't think Gavin would benefit from an animal, and I"d be afraid for an animal in that house.


@jamiainc Gavin is hit and miss with the family pets. He has more recently become more aggressive with them as well.


Hi Rob~  My son, at age 4 1/2, was still not talking, & newly diagnosed as Autistic, when we got our Lab puppy, Jack.  It was only about 3 months later that my lil one uttered his first sentence, thanks to his love & fascination for his dog.  What was that sentence?  "I want milk", or maybe, "Where is brother"?  Nope.  It was, "Jaaaaack… Smell my feet!"  Jack is now 8 1/2 & pretty near his last year here, & I am so thankful for our huge pup!  And beaming, I can proudly say that my son now is called a Jabber-Jaw!  🙂   His pet definitely helped him to emerge from his Autistic bubble!


 @lostandtired Yes, but he is a tall guy, so doesn't really look that heavy until he jumps of sits on you…  


Oh I forgot to mention horses. Someday I would love to have a horse or 2.


I have probably written this before but YES is the short answer. We have 4 kids ages 12-4 and 10 animals. We have 3 small dogs, 4 cats, 2 rats, and a rabbit. It is a lot of hard work caring for all of these kritters but the kids love to help. My youngest 2 fight over who gets to feed the cats and help mom clean the cages. My husband is in charge of litter boxes and outside poop patrol. He also feeds the dogs. As I sit here writing this I have my dog in my lap and our new kitten laying on my feet. It can be hard to make sure that they all get the attention they need but they help us out so much. My dog was rescued from her breeder because she did not have the right coat. SHe is the most awesomest dog in the world and a true gift from God for me. She is my constant companion and I could not imagine life without her. Our family cat has been awesome. When I brought my son home from the hospital she looked at me like, “seriously another one” She now sleeps on his pillow at night and the 2 of them jockey for position on it, IN OUR BED! Then there is Pixie. Our sweet balinese (long haired siamese) we found her on Craigs list for our aspie kiddo before she was diagnosed. When she is having a meltdown pixie is right there with her nuzzling her. My daughter has threatened to not attend college because she is not leaving her cat behind. Another true gift from God. Pixie seems to just be able to seek out when my kids need the love of an animal. She also cozies up to our third kiddo who has ADHD when she is having a meltdown. My son and I love the rats they are so fun to interact with and they eat better than we do as I make their food. They waste half of the store bought food and it is way cheaper to make it myself. Out poor rabbit likes to bite because our house is way to stressful for it so it gets neglected in the love part. SHe is happy withgood food, clean water, and clean cage though. Our newest addition has taken some time to acclimate to our home because she is a feral kitten. She was on a friends doorstep almost unable to stand from lack of food and water. She is full of spunk and is still getting used to our bevy of animals but she is making progress ever so slowly. Our lives would be empty without our animals. Although I would sometimes like some more room in bed. Every night it is my husband who is 6’6″ tall, myself, 2 small dogs, 2 cats, and halfway through the night our 4 yr old comes in. We need a bigger than king size bed!


 @JenniferWhynott I know how that is and we only have 2 dogs and a cat. 🙂


We got almost a zoo at home, as I do strongly believe pets do help all kids in general to learn how to care and be considerate of another living thing. We got two dogs, cat, rabbit, tortoise, hamster, and a fish tank. 
My daughter mostly bonds with the cat and the hamster(she loves taking it out of its cage and let it run in her doll houses with her dolls). My boxer is somewhat a clumsy guy and 90 lb., so she doesn’t like that as much. The other dog is smaller and she loves that one for sure! She absolutely loves the cat for some reason, even though the cat seem to be in less the need of attention.  


 @kat13 That is a HUGE Boxer.  Wow

E The Third Glance

So I’m not a a parent, I’m an autistic person. And yes, pets have helped me immensely. I have a cat who gives me more comfort and friendship than I get from anyone else. He is my best friend. We communicate incredibly well and “get” each other. When I was growing up, we also had cats, and they were my responsibility to feed/water/clean the litter box. I learned incredible amounts of responsibility, and learned how to have a good, caring relationship. So yes, animals are incredibly beneficial for me. Though I’m definitely a cat person – I have a long and not so good history with dogs, plus I have a startle reflex that goes on “super duper high” when dogs are around – if they bark or jump at all, it sends me completely reeling.


 @E The Third Glance Thank so much for sharing that. What fantastic insight. 🙂


Yes. I believe everyone benefits from a pet. But, man’s best friends are the best. My ASD son definetly has a unique bond with his ‘sister’. She is his companion when we are out and he is responsible for taking her in the yard to do her business & to feed her. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.


@Marlene0657 that’s awesome. My Emmett is the same way with his Boxer, Bella.