4-Year-Old Autistic Boy Learns To Communicate With The Help Of His Dog

Posted by Zainab Pervez in Feel Good On 6th January 2021
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A 4-year-old autistic boy Leon Kirby-Bulner has started communicating after being introduced to his puppy Fern. Fern, a cocker-spaniel, is an autism service dog. Leon's parents are raising funds to train more autism service dogs.

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Autistic boy learns to communicate with the help of his dog

Leon Kirby-Bulner has autism and struggles to communicate – but thanks to Fern, a three-year-old cocker spaniel, his parents say he has started chattering non-stop.

His mom Hayley Kirby-Bulner calls her 4-year-old 'Mancub' after Mowgli in Jungle Book. She credits the pup for improving his confidence and both have become 'best friends'.

Hayley, 44, told Metro: ‘He was sadly locked in his own little world but, on meeting Fern, it was love at first sight. The pair quickly became inseparable, the very best of friends.

 

 

Credit: Metro
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Leon's first interactions were not with human but with his puppy

‘Mancub’s first interactions weren’t with humans but with Fern. He had a sparkle in his eye we hadn’t seen before.

Fern and Leon have grown up together as Fern was homed in 2017 when both were babies. They wear matching outfits and love playing hide and seek.

Credit: Metro
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He's now an excellent communicator with Fern's help

‘He is a true animal lover and prefers animals to people. He is now an excellent communicator with non-stop chattering' 

‘The help Fern gives us every day can’t be underestimated'

Credit: timesnow
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Fern also helps Leon with his daily routine and meltdowns

‘Amongst other things, she helps Mancub calm down when he has a meltdown often providing deep pressure stimulation, she guards the stairs to stop him hurting himself, she gets between him and the floor when he is trying to bang his head, and generally gives him comfort when needed.

 

 

‘She has numerous routines and tasks that make our family life so much easier and she loves helping out. We couldn’t imagine not having her assistance now.'

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Fern loves helping Leon and has transformed his life

‘Mancub and Fern is a partnership that will keep getting stronger and stronger, in all honesty she is at her happiest when she’s with her boy. She just loves to help. Fern has completely transformed Mancub’s life.’

 

 

Hayley runs a falconry business in Andover, Hants. She and her husband Karsten also created a facebook page 'Together anything is pawsible' as a tribute to their son and his dog. It has more than 4000 followers.

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Hayley and her husband are raising funds to train more assistance dogs

Hayley and Karsten are raising funds to provide assistance dogs to more families with autistic children.

Hayley added: ‘Knowing what a huge difference Fern has made to our lives and especially Mancub’s, my dream was to help another family with an autistic child, who cannot afford to do this themselves, in the way that Fern has helped us. ‘Therefore since the start of lockdown Mancub and I have been making embroidered items to fundraise for the first T.A.P. Assistance Dog – a fully trained working cocker spaniel. ‘We are now very close to getting another autistic child their very own ‘Fern’ and my dream is coming true.’

 

 

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