Shanna Niehaus has been struggling from the sidelines as her son tries to form basic human connections.
The mom’s son is autistic and has always had a hard time making friends. She recounts how her little boy has undergone several therapy sessions geared towards helping autistic children build their social skills, but Niehaus said that none have proved successful. In a recent Facebook post, she shared the heartbreaking times she’s watched her son cry himself to sleep while worrying about his inability to formulate personal connections.
At her wit’s end, Niehaus discovered an organization that provides service dogs to those suffering from autism and other debilitating diagnoses. 4 Paws for Mobility trains pups to deal with a variety of autism-related issues. They can help show the child the right thing to do in certain situations and even serve as a living tracker if/when a child wanders away.
After a long wait, Niehaus’s five-year-old son were graced with one very special dog, Tornado. They spent a day adjusting to the new dynamics of working together — and this is the moment the family was finally able to have a moment to themselves.
Mom couldn’t be more proud as can be seen in this photograph captured just hours after the boy and his dog were first introduced.
In just a matter of minutes, Niehaus could see huge leaps in regards to her son’s social interactions.
Previously, he was unable to deal with human touch. Here, it’s clear he has no problem getting up close and personal with his puppy companion.
In her now viral post, Niehaus said:
“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. Somehow because of this – because of Tornado – I know everything will be okay.”