Return to top Boy With Autism Hates Being Held, But When He Meets His Service Dog, Everything Changes

Boy With Autism Hates Being Held, But When He Meets His Service Dog, Everything Changes

By - 16th March 2018

Can you imagine how heartbreaking it would be to not be able to hold or hug your child? It sounds unthinkable. But for some parents who have children with autism, this can, unfortunately, be their reality.

Some kids with autism struggle with sensory issues and in turn, they reject physical contact. ‘They don’t look in people’s eyes, they won’t hug their parents, and they are hypersensitive to touch and sound,” said Dr Anis Contractor to the Daily Mail.

Because of this, Shanna Neihaus was moved to tears when she saw her 5-year-old autistic son Kai embracing for the first time thanks to a lovable service dog named Tornado.

“See this moment? I’ve never experienced a moment like this. Yesterday was the first day my 5-year-old autistic son met his new autism service dog, Tornado. We are Americans that live overseas in Japan and have prepared for nearly two years to meet Tornado,”

Before that, Shanna had never seen her son willingly accept a hun. The simplest acts of washing, cuddling or dressing her son is an uphill struggle.

Naturally, this made life difficult for Kai, especially with making friends. But when Kai first spotted Tornado, he ran towards him at top speed to give him a hug.

He’d finally made a friend and Shanna so overwhelmed with emotion. Seeing Kai cosy up to Tornado signalled to his mum that not only was her son growing up and developing but that he was going to be ok.

“It’s worth every fight for services for my son, every diagnosis, every new provider, every dollar spent, every paper filled out, every school meeting, every shed tear, every step forward, every step back, and every wonder of the unknown future,”

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