I just wanted to point out another option for autistic parents. Social dogs can make a huge difference in the lives of certain autistic children and their parents. They are a service animal specially trained to help provide structure and allow autistic children to function at a more comfortable level. They provide a structured routine that doesn't change no matter where the child goes and what changes occur in the larger routine around them. They are not allowed in public alone with the child, but are considered "facilitated" meaning that they may accompany the child and the parent who trained with the child and dog in public. They often provide an opening for other children to come and talk to the child, and provide totally appropriate content for the the child to discuss. They are not appropriate for all children, but they definately help out many.
p.s. if you are interested please check out www.caninesforkids.org