The COVID-19 pandemic has been mentally taking on all of us – but it’s been especially hard for those with mental health issues or disabilities. We’re all in this together, and we’re all trying our best to cope however way we can.
And in the midst of the lockdown, one young boy with autism received the best present from his parents in order to help him cope with the quarantine: a puppy! Hayden Morrison a four-year-old boy with nonverbal autism who lives in Enniskillen, in Northern Ireland.
Because of the lockdown restrictions, Hayden has had a tough time coping since his normal routines have been disrupted, and worse still, there is no set time when he can expect to go back to those routines.
As his father, Carl Morrison shared with the DailyMail, “He was used to going to school every day, going to both sets of grandparents on set days. He would go to the park or go swimming, so he got very frustrated about being stuck in the house. He was having a lot of meltdowns.”
In an attempt to help Hayden better cope with the upset COVID-19 has brought to his world, his parents got him a puppy. And after Carl posted the video of Hayden reacting to his new friend on Twitter, the video went viral.
Marley is the precious golden retriever puppy that his parents selected in order to not only cheer him up but hopefully help him in the long run. In the video, Marley is brought out to the car’s window beside Hayden. As soon as Hayden lays eyes on Marley his entire demeanor changes and he is clearly overcome with joy – reaching out a hand to stroke one of the pup’s paws.
Then Marley is put into Hayden’s lap, and the young boy immediately begins to cuddle the dog. As they snuggle up together, it is clear that they are well on their way to forming an indestructible bond.
Carl said to DailyMail, “Since we have got the dog he has settled a lot better and has fewer meltdowns now.”
It is truly heartwarming the positive impact and the amount of calm and joy that animals can bring to people.
You can watch the sweet reaction in the video below:
My 4 year old son who has Autism and is Non Verbal. Has a new friend Marley.😄 pic.twitter.com/dvHmQ0sufv
— Carl Morrison (@CarlMorrison87) May 1, 2020