Shelter Dog Helps Autistic Boy Open Up & Show Affection
Dogs can be incredible companions. Not only are they loving additions to families but can be used for therapy, search and rescue and much more. For Amanda Granados, one dog would go on to change her son's life forever.
Amanda's son, Joey, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a disorder on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, at age 7. It was really difficult for her to deal with. He would act out, get suspended from school but all by no fault of his own. Even more heartbreaking was the fact that Joey showed now signs of love; hugs, kisses, no physical contact. She just finally realized he never would. Until now.....
They adopted a dog named Roxy from Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Los Angeles. When Joey saw Roxy he jumped up and give his mom a kiss on the cheek.
"I get emotional thinking about it," Granados told TODAY.com. "For all those years, he wouldn't hold my hand, he wouldn't hug me — it was all part of the autism — but this dog has taught him how to give and show affection. He holds my hand now! He hugs me! The first time I got a kiss on the cheek was when Roxy came home."
Roxy is Joey's best friend. She has taught him to show affection and emotion. With Roxy, there is no judgement and Joey knows he can open up now. "If I've been having a bad day, Roxy can hear a tone in my voice," he said. "She runs up to me to give me a giant hug and lick me to death and do almost anything she can to make me happy," Joey said.