The four-year-old Leon Kirby-Bulner has autism and finds it difficult to communicate with others and express his feelings.
He lived in his own world, where the entrance was closed to both the boy’s parents and all other people.
But everything changed with the appearance of a Cocker Spaniel puppy named Fern in the house.
This dog was able to do the impossible: to find an approach to the “difficult” boy and become his best friend.
According to Leon’s mother, Hayley, it was love at first sight.
“My son suffered from loneliness, locked in his little world until he met Fern. She seemed to wake him up. I saw a gleam in Leon’s eyes that I hadn’t seen before,” says Hayley.
The boy has been inseparable from his pet for three years now.
He learned to “communicate” with the dog, even on a non-verbal level. And Fern very subtly feels what the little owner is trying to tell her.
These two do everything together.
Hayley’s heart melts when she sees her son play hide-and-seek with the dog and dress up the spaniel in suits to match his clothes.
“The help that Fern gives us every day is invaluable. She is not only a cheerful companion for play, but also his medicine. The dog helps him calm down during his breakdowns due to sensory overload. She makes sure that he does not hurt himself – even puts her body between him and the floor when Leon hits his head,” says Hayley.
According to the mother, with the advent of the spaniel, family life has become much easier.
This kind and patient dog helped Leon gain confidence and open up to the world.
The boy’s parents, by their own example, were convinced of the positive effect of communication with a pet on the condition and development of a boy with autism.
They are convinced of the benefits of canistherapy and, in order to help other families with children with autism spectrum disorders, they founded a Facebook group through which they raise funds to provide such families with companion dogs.
And, of course, they dedicated it to their savior – Fern.
And the charity sale of embroidery that Hayley made with her own hands during quarantine allowed her to get a therapy spaniel for another child who is just like Leon – soon he will have his own Fern and, perhaps, his life will change for the better.