The purpose of this study was to examine the effect, if any, of Autism Assistance Dogs (AADs) on the pragmatic abilities of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of children with ASD who had received an AAD while the child was preschool- to elementary school-aged responded to an online survey regarding social language of their child before and after receiving an AAD. Willing participants also took part in a follow-up interview with the researcher, in order for the researcher to further understand any effect that their child’s AAD had on social language. The results of this study revealed that parents reported significantly improved pragmatic abilities of their child after receiving an AAD. Further research should be conducted in order to fully attribute the improved pragmatics to the receipt of an AAD.


Furey, Joan


Communication Studies


Autism Assistance Dogs, service dogs, autism spectrum disorder, pragmatics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Madelaine E. Flynn