FAMILY & PARENTING

Mom Nervously Watches Autistic Son Meet Service Dog, Then Breaks Down When They Bond

by Allyson Souza
Ally is a born-and-bred Jersey Girl who studied English and Journalism at Rutgers University. In her free time, she spends too much money on food, continues the endless search for her next favorite book, and fails to use her gym membership on a daily basis. She comes from a huge, crazy family that sells Fish & Chips for a living and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

All dog lovers know that there’s just something about canines that makes you feel good. Their presence brings peace and warmth that not many other animals can provide.

Dogs have proven to be so comforting that they’re being professionally trained for the job. And people everywhere are benefiting from the incredible difference these dogs can make.

One child in particular was able to bring tears of joy to his mother’s eyes with his very first service dog interaction.

Shanna Niehaus’ autistic 5-year-old son struggles daily with personal touch. It has been very difficult for his mom to watch him go through hardships because of it.

But now, after a two-year buildup to the moment, the little boy has shown incredible progress — and that’s just on his first meeting with his service dog, Tornado.

Niehaus expressed the many emotions she felt the moment she watched her son snuggle up to Tornado in a powerful message.

Service dogs are known to provide comfort and support to those in need. It’s a job they’re trained for, but it also relies heavily on their own nature. There’s just something very reassuring about a dog’s presence.

4 Paws for Ability is an organization that trains service dogs specifically to work with children living with disabilities.

For mom Shanna Niehaus, the addition of service dog Tornado to her family was two years in the making. Niehaus’ 5-year-old son is autistic and struggles on a daily basis with personal contact.

But then Tornado walked in the room and the change was instant.

Niehaus watched as her son leaned back and rested his head on Tornado, inviting a form of touch that he’d never shown comfort with before. Niehaus shared her experience in an emotional message about the overwhelming amazement she felt at seeing her son make his very first friend in the world.

The message inspired a wave of thankful responses from many people who had similar experiences.

This has truly shown the incredible power of service dogs, and given a face to the impact they can have on a family.

Watch the incredible moment below, and please SHARE with everyone you know if you also believe in the power of service dogs!

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