Wednesday, 5 April 2017

RJ Scott's Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2017 #autismawareness #giveaway

Today I'm very lucky to be a part of a Blog Hop that is very personal to me.
Author RJ Scott's Autism Awareness Blog!

The theme of this years blog hop is animals. Hooray! I love animals.
I hope you will learn some interesting facts about Autism and the incredible link to animals, plus you'll meet some pretty amazing Authors and maybe win a prize or two.

So read on my friends!


Autism Awareness Factoid

When used as part of a child’s therapy, Service Dogs for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders may: create opportunities to learn responsibility, empathy, socialization, and communication development.

When I was researching what factoid I wanted to share about Animals and their connection to helping individuals on the Autism Spectrum, many sites said how it 'could' help or 'may' help. I have to say this really surprised me because I've seen first hand how interaction with animals has helped my son, M.

I grew up with dogs. All sorts actually, purebreds, mutt's, strays, big dogs and little yappers. Sometimes, my house was a temporary home, and sometimes we had playdates and slumber parties for friends dogs that had wandered over during the day or night. 

There was only one time that I lived without a dog, it was when I first moved out west. It was strange. I felt like I was missing something, like a connection to someone, which was odd because I wasn't alone, I had my boyfriend, my brother and friends. I couldn't figure out what it was until my boyfriend got what turned out to our first dog together.  And when that furry little mutt came home, it felt as though a vacant spot somewhere inside me was suddenly filled.  
I know, that was super sappy. But, that's what happened!  

The affect on M hasn't been quite the same because there has always been a dog in his life. So he doesn't know anything else. And we never set out to have dogs to help M, it just sort of happen naturally.

Soooo, I decided to ask him while I was researching,
"Do you feel like you have a connection to the dogs?"
In a typical 13 year old boy response, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "No."
I burst out laughing, I couldn't help it.
The kid cracks me up.

Then I asked him what he remembers about our dogs that we have lost, a furry Japanese Akita and a sweet Great Pyrenees mix. A big smile spread across his face
and we talked about the silly things each dog would do. And when it was time to say goodbye to my Japanese Akita, M remembered missing him right away ( he was 6 at the time) and described the day perfectly.
I questioned his answer of "no."
He laughed and shrugged again, "I guess I do." LOL

We now have two German Shepherds, who we have nicknamed, 'Baby and the Beast'. If you have a GSD then you already know the connection these dogs have to their humans, but the connection they have to their human children is...magical. I'm not sure how or why it happens, but these dogs have help M become more sociable ( which is a big one for him because of his hearing impairment ). When I started walking him to school with the Beast, kids would ask to pet Beast and asked questions and M would begin chatting away. Man, I loved that!

Baby supervising school work.
When we got Baby, his teacher told us in a parent-teacher interview how M came to school and told the class about his new puppy and what type of breed she was, plus the history of the breed. This is a kid that doesn't go out of his way to share personal info or talk out in class unless he has too, but he did that on his own without anybody prompting him. Woohoo!

TV time with Baby
He's also learned a sense of responsibility. He knew from a very young age that the dogs need to go 'out', and both M and his sister G share the responsibility of feeding them, as well as exercising them. And whether or not he wants it, the dogs will literally hang out with him and his sister. They really don't have a choice.

So as you see, just as M said, he has no connection at all with our dogs...NOT!!! LOL

Napping after a day at the beach.
As for the doctors and specialists that are still slapping that 'could' help or 'may' help into their research, I guess we'll have to be patience and wait for them to catch up to the rest of us.

Better hurry up boys! You're missing out on how magnificent the connection between animals and individuals with ASD or...just humans in general, truly is.

So there you have it, an interesting and informative Autism factoid, plus a little story about my experiences.

If you would like to learn more check out the Autism Speaks Canada website at

Kerry Magro

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  1. Thank you, it really was interesting and informative Autism factoid!

    1. I'm glad you came by to check things out, alexu!

  2. I love dogs. I think no matter how you feel, they make you feel happy. It's long been known that they can cheer up patients and kids in hospital so it stands to reason that they would help someone with autism even though they might deny it. Had to smile at M's reaction to your question.

    1. He is a funny kid!
      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment, Barbara.

  3. So heartwarming to see and read about your dogs! (I don't tweet, so I don't have anything in the Rafflecopter...oh, well.)

    --Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

    1. Thanks for checking out my post and commenting anyway!

  4. Thank you for participating :)

  5. Thank you for sharing with us and taking part in the hop!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  6. I enjoyed your post we had two dogs when I was growing up and it's amazing how much you miss them.


    1. Furry babies do leave a lasting impression.
      Thanks for visiting, ShirleyAnn!

  7. Laura05
    I love this post, thank you for sharing.

    1. It was my pleasure Laura05.
      I hope you are able to visit the other authors also participating in the Blog Hop.

  8. I enjoyed reading about your pets and I have always felt that animals have a calming/healing effect on people young and old.

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Paul!
    It sounds as though all my visitors are ahead of the curve when it comes to this topic. I guess all great minds do think alike. lol

  10. Thanks for sharing that great story about your son & your pets, Nancy! I really enjoyed reading it and I'm so happy that your pets help your son.

    Thank you for participating in this Autism Blog Hop. Have a good day! ^_^