Autism Service Dog Opens World for Little Boy

Boy and Service Dog Photo Courtesy of Can Do Canines

One day, when he was 3, the door to Kadin’s Autistic closed world opened just a crack. Nicole Linstrom, Kadin’s occupational therapist, thought a dog might help him pay more attention during therapy and help him improve his skills for life. Sasha the Samoyed was introduced to Kadin to try and help him form a meaningful bond. Until that point Kadin could not bond with anyone could not focus on his therapy and was making only tiny little steps in therapy. Kadin was taught to lay on the dog with his bare tummy and feel the soft white fur next to his skin. After their first meeting his therapists and parents noticed a changed in Kadin and so therapy with the dog became a regular thing. After much thought the family decided that they felt the best thing they could do for their son was to get him his own therapy dog. So they put themselves on a waiting list and hoped they made the right decision.

Then after being on the waiting for 3 years, the Okerstroms got Truman this summer from Twin Cities-based Can Do Canines . He is a specially trained dog for children with autism. He is trained to be calm and allow Kadin to rest his bare stomach on him and to help the boy in his day to day life.The moment of truth came 20 minutes after the new team met. Kadin laid his bare chest on the top of Truman’s back and he had another magical moment.

The dog comes to Kadin to help the boy calm down in stressful situations, to distract him from his own emotions. Kadin is now able to take walks with his mom as long as Truman is by his side. Before the dog entered the picture, Kadin would never walk around the block without bolting or screaming because taking a walk was a break from their normal routine.

Since getting the Truman, Kadin’s therapist has also noticed big changes in him. He is able to concentrate and he is calm. He now looks at people when they interact with him.

Kadin’s story: Hope on a Leash:

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  1. Working Mommy says

    What a wonderful post!!

    Hopping over!


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