Even when she was young, it was clear to Iris Grace Halmshaw’s parents that she would need some extra help. Iris has severe autism, and as a result, she was unable to communicate for very long time.
That didn’t stop Iris from wowing people with her incredible artistic talent, though.
The 6-year-old found refuge, and a way of expressing herself, through her abstract paintings, which have been sold around the world. That’s no small feat for any 6-year-old, but when it came to day-to-day life, Iris struggled.
She was easily overwhelmed in the presence of other children, and found it difficult to sleep. What most children would consider simple, everyday things — wearing clothes, riding in cars, and taking baths — Iris struggled with.
She also had no means of communication, which meant that she couldn’t express her needs and feelings, even to her parents.
But that all changed when Iris got a therapy animal. And while you might be imagining a dog, Iris’ companion is actually a Maine coon cat named Thula. It might seem like an odd pair, but it’s one that works magically.
See Iris and Thula’s adventures below, and you’ll see how having an animal friend really makes such a huge difference for all children. And be sure to watch the video of these two friends, too!
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