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A Boy And His Dog
When Nathan was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of 9 years old, he struggled with being "different" and was having a tough time at school.Learn how this dog helped!
Rob is unlike any other kid you'd meet but he sure does like to keep busy. Born with down syndrome and diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, today Rob and his family have been working on focusing on life skills to make sure that when he gets older he won't have to rely on his family to do everything for him.
Sometimes, a dog walks into your life and everything changes. That was the case for Jonny Hickey, a young boy with autism who struggled with social interactions and situations. Jonny's parents adopted a young puppy named Xena who had been badly abused by a former owner, and Xena took to Jonny immediately. Jonny and Xena became inseparable, and a beautiful and inspiring friendship was born.
Genes play a huge role in the onset of Autism -- but in order for gene expression to reflect the disorder there needs to be an environmental trigger. The problem is that no one is really sure what that trigger is. While the most popular theory (or the most publicized at least) alleges that vaccines can trigger Autism, there are more than thirty valid hypotheses on the subject. Dr. William Walsh, of the Walsh Research Institute (which specializes in biochemistry), sits down to explain why genetic predisposition is only part of the puzzle.
Families with a child on the spectrum don't always get to travel or may not even travel at all due to the stress travel can put on their child. But Alaska Airlines gives these families a chance to practice what it's like to travel with a child on the spectrum with their Wings For Autism Program.
Yori is a special dog that works with his human to help students with autism. His patience and caring nature lends itself well to the type of environment Yori works in. Yori teaches the students to communicate by asking to perform certain things to him like hug, pet, or play fetch. The students respond well to Yori, and many who were nonverbal have started calling Yori by name.