There are moments in our children’s lives that we’ll never forget. They are etched into our memory forever.
Our baby rolling over and sitting up. Our baby’s first word, first steps, first bite of real food.
The emotion-riddled first day of preschool and kindergarten. The last day of high school.
Helping your child move into that first apartment or college dorm and realizing that that sweet baby is now an adult that has flown the nest.
But some parents don’t experience all of the typical firsts that others do. Maybe their children have a chronic condition or disability that prevents them from walking or talking on target.YouTube/ABC News Source: YouTube/ABC News
Regardless, every single milestone they do meet that’s specific to them is celebrated with jubilation.
One boy’s atypical “first” brought his mom to tears.
For two years, the little boy named Kai prepared for this moment, for this very important first. His mom Shanna Niehaus soaked in every second of the occasion as tears streamed down her face.YouTube/ABC News Source: YouTube/ABC News
They are Americans living overseas in Japan and were desperate to secure a service dog for the little boy who has autism.
The day when this boy met his new dog was simply beautiful.
Facebook/Love What Matters Source: Facebook/Love What Matters“See this moment? I’ve never experienced a moment like this … This picture captures the face of a mother who saw her child, who she can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely lay on his new service dog of his own free will, with a purposeful, unspoken attachment. This is the face of a mom who has seen her son experience countless failed social interactions on the playground in an attempt to have a friend. Any friend. Any kind of connection. She has sat with her son while he has cried at night for months because he has no consistent connections outside of the family no matter how hard he tries and no matter what he works hard on in his autism therapies. It doesn’t transfer to the natural occurring world for him. And now she is sitting behind her son silently watching this moment, with the air sucked from her lungs, and no words to say.”
This mom fights for the appropriate services for him, works diligently and compassionately through every diagnosis, meets with countless new providers and teachers, and sheds a steady stream of tears when it gets to be too much.
Then like most other moms, she wipes away her tears, pulls herself together and smiles at the precious child with whom she’s been blessed.YouTube/ABC News Source: YouTube/ABC News
For every step forward they take, they fall back two more. They have no idea what the future holds.
But what they do know is that this moment, this dog named Tornado, has stolen Kai’s heart and given him the affection he desperately craves.
“Somehow because of this – because of Tornado – I know everything will be okay. As a mother, I have seen countless challenging and painful moments my son has encountered and cried countless more. Yesterday, however, I cried for a different reason. It is a feeling that is indescribable.”
Tornado was provided to this little boy by 4 Paws for Ability , an organization that specializes in training and providing service dogs for kids with disabilities. The second this little boy laid eyes on his dog, he leaped off his mom’s lap and sprinted across the room.
“Seeing him immediately when he laid down and that relationship been reciprocated back to him, it was breathtaking. He seems so much more content, more fulfilled.”
This little boy now has the opportunity to learn how to tolerate touch, maybe to even enjoy affection at some point, all thanks to his new service dog. So while he may not have the same firsts as other kids, this one moment captured on camera means the world to his mom and will be something she cherishes forever.
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