For us, this story applies directly to Mason. If I had $1 for every meltdown because I had to tear him away from the aquarium at Whole Foods in Plano I could pay cash for all of his therapy. To him, there's something very calming about aquariums. He'll sit and watch endlessly and stop fidgeting.
This article touches on other animals that help children with Autism. Among them, horses, which helped my son tremendously when he participated in horse therapy last summer.