Leon Kirby-Bulner is a four-year-old boy with autism and struggles to communicate with people. Because of his condition, he never showed interest nor true connection to other people as a baby. He was just often stuck in his own little world. Now, Leon is able to connect and converse with those around him — all thanks to Fern, his furry best friend.
Love At First Sight
Hayley, Leon’s mom, affectionately nicknamed him ‘Mancub’, taken after Mowgli in The Jungle Book. She is extremely grateful to Fern, for all the pup has done for Leon and for their family. Fern is a three-year-old Cocker Spaniel, adopted as a puppy when Leon was still a toddler. Hayley explained that it was love at first sight, the pair immediately became best buddies, inseparable from each other.
As they grew together, the devoted duo could often be seen playing hide and seek while wearing similar outfits. Hayley described her son as a true animal lover and someone who prefers animals more than people. She also added that Leon is now an outstanding communicator with non-stop talking.
Fern Helps With Outbursts
But Fern didn’t just help Leon develop his confidence with communication. She also cares for Leon as if he is her own — always aware of his impending meltdowns or outbursts of self-destruction, and ready to help. The dog provides pressure stimulation whenever Leon’s behavior presents the need for it. Fern blocks the stairs so that he cannot hurt himself, and will even get between the floor and him whenever the young boy tries to bang his head.
Hayley gushed that Fern has many tasks and routines that make their life as a family so much easier, and the pup enjoys helping out. She also added that they couldn’t imagine not having Fern’s assistance now.
Because of the incredible amount of support and help that Fern has provided Leon, Hayley, together with her husband, Karsten, explored ways on how they too could help families with autistic children. So, they started a fundraiser that aims to provide assistance dogs to other families in need, and they couldn’t have achieved it without Leon’s aid either.
From the time that the lockdown started, Hayley and Mancub have been creating embroidered items to raise funds for the first T.A.P. Assistance Dog – a highly skilled working cocker spaniel. Hayley and her family are now pretty close to achieving their fundraising goal, and will soon be able to help a child with autism have their very own friend like Fern.
Source: Together anything is pawsible on Facebook