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Autistic boy leaves mum in tears after making his first friend with support dog

The first time a mother introduced her autistic son to his new assistance dog, his sweet reaction touched the hearts of people all over the world.
Kai was diagnosed with autism when he was four years unique, and because of his sensory preferences, he doesn’t always like to be touched.
That wasn’t the case when he met golden Labrador Tornado, whom he embraced with a big hug right away.
Shanna Niehaus, 36, from Florida, was caught on camera silently crying behind the couple, and the video quickly went viral.

Shanna is sharing how Tornado, now six years old, has changed her son’s life in every way.

The Mirror quoted her as saying: “Tornado has been an absolute delight to welcome into our family, and I am overjoyed every day as I watch my son interact with his best friend in the entire world.

Shanna and Kai flew from Tokyo, where their family had been temporarily residing, to Ohio on October 17, 2016, to meet Tornado for the first time.

Shanna had raised nearly £11,500 to help 4 Paws for Ability partially fund Tornado’s training, as well as an additional £16,800 for travel and expenses.

Kai surprised everyone when he laid on Tornado to feel his heartbeat just hours after meeting him.

Shanna was so taken aback that she started crying, but she covered her mouth to avoid making a sound that might distract Kai.

Shanna said, “I definitely did not expect the moment to be so emotional.”

Things were exciting and fun when Kai and Tornado met earlier in the morning. Later, Tornado, Kai, and I posed for a viral photo together.

“The calm of the afternoon allowed me to reflect on everything I’d done to get us to that point, and my emotions just poured out.”

Kai had always been drawn to dogs and had asked if he could have one as a pet on several occasions.
Finally, his dream was realized, and it was well worth every penny.

“Kai’s sensory processing differs from that of many other children because he is autistic. Kai has his own sensory preferences, and hugs are something he enjoys on his own terms “Shanna expressed her thoughts.

“I hug and touch my son with his permission and consideration for how his sensory processing is working at any given time.”

Over the years, the two have grown closer, and Shanna claims Tornado has “unconditional love and support for him – through absolutely anything.”

Tornado is unconcerned if Kai makes a strange noise, wears silly clothes, or appears to be different from other children. Tornado adores Kai and stands by him no matter what others think “Shanna expressed her thoughts.

“He provides Kai with a unique kind of safety and security, allowing him to be himself without fear of judgement or expectations. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day?”

Tornado assists Kai in navigating the world with autism and relieves societal pressures on a daily basis.

“Aside from his official responsibilities, Tornado gives Kai acceptance, partnership, and a very best friend,” Shanna said.

Tornado will retire in about two years, and Shanna will start fundraising for his replacement dog later this year.

“For the rest of his life, Tornado will be a dearly cherished member of our family,” she said.

“I’ll be forever grateful to 4 Paws for Ability for bringing him into our lives and bringing my son with a furry spark of life.”

You can keep up-to-date with Kai and Tornado’s friendship on their Facebook page.

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