For those of us who have a family member, or know someone with autism, we understand how difficult it can be. Many on the autism spectrum have to deal with challenges we can’t even imagine.
My grandson is on the autism spectrum and so I am learning what that really means. Many times these children suffer from social anxieties which make it hard to make friends, connect with family, or even feel like they’re part of the world around them.
This story really tugged on my heartstrings. This service dog made such a huge difference for a boy who desperately needed one.
Shanna Niehaus was a mother who desperately wanted to find something to help her child. Her five-year-old son, Kai, has autism, and no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t find a way to help her son connect.
Many nights Shanna listen to her son cry because he was lonely, but no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t connect with other children his age. He couldn’t be touched or hugged, or make any kind of human contact.
Kai and his family are Americans who live in Japan. They heard about service dog program for autistic children, but spent two years on the waiting list.
Finally they got a dog. 4 Paws for Ability is a company that matches special needs children with service animals. They assigned a service dog, Tornado, to Kai.
Shanna and her son traveled thousands of miles to meet the dog. Shanna didn’t think it would make much difference. She’d already tried professional therapists and all kinds of things. But it was worth a try.
Continue to next page for the rest of this amazing story…