For children with autism, the world can be a confusing place. So when something comes into an autistic child's life that can help them make sense of things, they’re going to want to keep it close by. For 9-year-old James Isaac, that something was his constant companion, Mahe, a 2 1/2-year-old dog. The two have been inseparable until a recent event threatened to tear them apart.
The New Zealand boy needed an MRI scan to diagnose his seizures, so he had to spend time at the hospital. As dogs usually aren't allowed in, it appeared like James would have to brave the harrowing experience alone...
Luckily, James was allowed to bring his dog, who lay beside him in his bed.
As always, Mahe remained devoted while he kept James safe, nuzzling the boy’s face as he was being put under.
“He was just looking at James, and looking really worried,” James’s mom, Michelle James, told Stuff.co.nz.
And while Mahe proved to be an invaluable help at the hospital, Michelle James says that the dog has been equally important throughout joining the family two and a half years ago.
Mahe keeps James from wandering into harm’s way and keeps him calm in public, too, even though he used to be anxious. But Mahe couldn’t have done it without the help of the Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust, who trained the dog to take care of James.
“There is such a magic that happens between a child with autism and the dogs, they just calm the kids down,” Wendy Isaacs, who works for the trust, told Stuff.co.nz. “The kids will maintain eye contact with the dog, but often not with their own parents and siblings.”
If you’re as inspired by Mahe’s devotion to James as we are and you also appreciate the Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust, share this article with your friends.
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