Research into the benefits of assistance dogs for people with autism

The NDIA is committed to sharing the latest information to help participants, families and carers access supports that are right for them.

We have published 2 reports about the benefits of assistance dogs for people with autism:

  • Benefits of assistance dogs or pets for people on the autism spectrum: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
  • Lived experiences of assistance dogs for people with autism and their families: A systematic review and meta-aggregation of qualitative studies.

Through this research, we found that specially trained assistance dogs and pet dogs had similar benefits for people with autism.

Both helped children with autism to develop their social skills, emotional regulation, and decreased stress for parents.

These reports share what we’ve learned through our research.

We are publishing these findings to empower participants and families to make informed choices.

The NDIA will continue to make decisions about reasonable and necessary supports on a case-by-case basis.

You can read and download these reports and a combined summary report on the Assistance dogs for people with autism page.