Owning pets could be a way to help children with autism to develop social skills and relieve stress, and a project at the University of Lincoln has set out to assess the effect.
BBC News reports that the project has been launched in partnership with charity Dogs for the Disabled, and a series of workshops at the university will give families the opportunity to see how pet relationships work.
Professor Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln, said there is an "enormous amount" of anecdotal information to suggest that pet ownership is beneficial for people with autism.
"We hope through this study to be able to pinpoint and quantify specific benefits for carers so they can have realistic expectations and get the most from their relationship with a dog," he told the news provider.
The Birmingham Mail reported this week that the National Autistic Society will launch its You Need to Know campaign in the West Midlands on Monday (March 21st).
Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.