Autism is incredibly hard on children. Whether it’s the sensory overload of everyday noise, the difficulty in handling even small changes to routine, or the myriad of social and communication issues people who live with the condition might have, there’s no denying that for someone who’s growing up autistic presents incredible challenges for both the child and the parents who are helping them get acclimated to the world around them. Recently, a store instituted a quiet hour to make shopping easier for those who are affected by the disorder, and now a new story has made it clear how helpful companion animals can be for children who struggle to communicate.
Mashable reports that a young girl named Iris has had her whole life transformed by the addition of a cat to her family. Iris’s mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson told the outlet that her daughter, who’s diagnosed as severely autistic, could barely communicate with others when she was younger, but meeting a cat named Thula made it much easier for her to cope with the outside world.