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Autism Speaks Walk - Meeting Scott

animal assisted therapy Autism Speaks TheraPets

Scott & Gibson

The Autism Speaks north shore 2016 walk was great, but my favorite part was meeting Scott. After getting our TheraPets booth set up, the walk had started, so we decided to visit some of the other vendor booths that were set up. As we walked across the field my wife noticed an adult man sitting all by himself in the middle of the field. He clearly had some sort of disability. My wife thought he might enjoy a visit from our St. Bernard therapy dog - Gibson.
As I introduced myself it quickly became apparent that the man was primarily nonverbal and also had some cognitive challenges. He was, however, able to tell me that his name was Scott. I asked Scott if he'd like to visit with my therapy dog Gibson and he nodded yes. Scott stroked Gibson gently on the head and softly rubbed his ears. After a minute or so, Scott got up on his knees and stretched forward to rub noses with Gibson. Scott then tilted his head in against Gibson's and closed his eyes and reached around Gibsons thick neck to give him a HUGE hug. After a couple minutes someone else came by to say hello to Gibson. After the brief visit I told Scott that we needed to move along. He gently took the leash from my hands and reeled in Gibson like a big fish. He gave Gibson another giant hug and after a big smile, Scott nodded his head towards me and reached out and shook my hand.
Not that I needed any reminders, but this is EXACTLY why I love Animal Assisted Therapy!

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