Love What Matters – When An Autistic Boy Connects With A Service Dog
Autism is defined as a mental condition that is usually present during early childhood. Autistic children have difficulty communicating and forming relationship with others even their own families. Autism can be manifested in different ways. The parent of an autistic child is bound to experience challenging and painful moments because the child cannot be hugged and touched freely.
For 5-year old Kainoa Niehaus, connecting to others and making friends is extremely difficult. Shanna Niehaus, the mother of Kainoa explained in her Facebook post “Love What Matters” how her son was able to finally make a physical connection out of his own free will with his new service dog, Tornado. The Facebook post included an image captured on the first day that Kainoa met Tornado. The picture perfectly caught the face of Shanna, the mother, while watching the interaction between her autistic son and the autism service dog Tornado. There was this purposeful and unspoken attachment between the child and his dog.
The American family is living in Japan and they have waited for two years for the autism service dog to become available. They made the long trip to Japan to 4 Paws for Ability in Ohio to meet Tornado and bring him home to Kainoa. During the initial meeting between the boy and the dog, Kainoa cuddled up to Tornado and laid his head on the dog.
After seeing so many failed social interactions in playgrounds, Kainoa finally made a connection with a friend, Tornado. For Shanna, it worth every fight for the services, every diagnosis, every new provider, every dollar spent, every paper that has to be filled up, every school meeting, every tear that has been shed because with Tornado, everything will be OK. Life will certainly change for Kainoa.
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