The autism spectrum is not completely understood, but more is being learned about it every day. Some people with autism are high-functioning, and others aren’t. Some struggle to talk to and interact with their families and do many of the other things the rest of us take for granted.
Many families struggle every day with their autistic children and are always looking for a way to make things easier for everyone.
One mother of a son named Hugh decided that she wanted to find her son a companion dog that might help him communicate and feel better. The family was nervous about getting a dog, but they recently shared a video of young Hugh and his new pup, Barney.
His mom posted, “Barney is learning to be incredibly gentle and calm with Hugh. This isn’t something we taught him, and both my husband and I were moved to tears just watching the beautiful and unexpected interaction between Hugh and Barney.”
Hugh being able to pet the dog is a big deal.
His mom added, “While the spectrum of abilities is quite broad depending on the exact genetic mutation, many of our children cannot walk or talk, and they struggle to communicate their most basic daily needs.”
They adopted the springer spaniel because they felt he would be a good fit for their family. They put a lot of thought and time into choosing the right pet, but they now know that they made the right decision.
Hugh’s mom said, “We looked at rehoming/adopting a dog but couldn’t be sure that an older dog would be able to handle Hugh and all the tubes and machines and beeping and erratic movements. But a puppy isn’t easy and, I’ll be honest, I want sure if we’d made the right decision getting one. Even though we spent ages deciding. And then, tonight, this happened. And I know that this is the right thing for our family. Hugh even stroked him and reached out to hold Barney’s paw.”
She also explained that the puppy seems to understand that he needs to be calm and gentle around Hugh as well.
Barney is normally full of energy, but he has no problem being calm so Hugh can pet him and snuggle him. His mom said, “What makes this even more amazing is that this same 13-week old puppy spent most of the day running around wildly, jumped on, and nibbled the ears of various children over the day, managed to tangle himself up in the nets of a football goal and has pretty much been hyper and bouncy and living up to his ‘Springer’ spaniel name.”
Hugh’s mom hopes that this isn’t the last time she will see her son petting the dog, and she has a feeling that the dog is going to do a lot to help with Hugh’s disabilities.
The two seem to have an amazing bond already. His mom added, “Maybe I caught him at a good time, or maybe he’s learning Hugh needs something different. Who knows? Either way, it was a beautiful, beautiful moment.”
Hugh suffers from a rare disease called Fox G1 Syndrome.
According to Genetics Home Reference,
“FOXG1 syndrome is a condition characterized by impaired development and structural brain abnormalities. Affected infants are small at birth, and their heads grow more slowly than normal, leading to an unusually small head size (microcephaly) by early childhood. The condition is associated with a particular pattern of brain malformations that includes a thin or underdeveloped connection between the right and left halves of the brain (a structure called the corpus callosum), reduced folds and grooves (gyri) on the surface of the brain, and a smaller than usual amount of brain tissue known as white matter.”
While there is no cure for this genetic disease, there are therapies that can help patients live better lives. There is also evidence that pets can help improve the lives of these patients. This little boy seems to be doing better now that he has a new best friend.
While there may not be a cure for this disease, Barney seems to be helping a lot.
Hopefully, Hugh and his family continue to enjoy Barney and see some positive results from his presence.
To watch the full video – please head to NewsFlare.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group