11 08 2020

Trying to teach JJ to actually PLAY with the dog is…interesting. Play has always been a struggle for him, which isn’t uncommon with autistic kiddos.

He tried to mimic, but it’s awkward and he doesn’t quite understand the point (which in this case is bonding with the dog). I’m guessing this is the socialization component that a lot of kids on the spectrum are challenged by. I hope that  teaching him to play with the dog might help when playing with other kids. In the end though, we started getting it ❤️

JJ and Bandit Ball

Bandit stopped chasing the ball and decided to lay down in front of JJ to play with the ball. I was sitting across the room and being ignored – which made me very happy 😉

Later that day, Bandit was laying down near where I was. JJ came back, called him AND BANDIT FOLLOWED HIM OUT! This was a great thing. And it happened a second time! This was a really good thing. Bandit is awesome, but used to working with grown ups. They both did great! So, I think we’re on the right track. It will take time, but we’re getting to the point that Bandit is getting more comfortable with him ❤️❤️❤️

But then the best thing happened…

For background: When you first meet JJ, you might not catch on that there’s something different about him. And even when you do, you still might not be able to narrow it down, because he’s got a lot going on (which is why  getting a diagnosis took so long).

But one of the things he struggles with so much is play.

Age appropriate play. Appropriate play. Peer play. Independent play. He struggles so much, that this has been a major cause of problems that lead to him getting in trouble which can kick off major power struggles. And that’s all a big pile of no fun.

He’s so in his world sometimes, he misses things going on around him. Forgets about the things around him – like people and dogs.

I worried about how he would do with a dog. Would he initiate play? Would it be appropriate? Would he remember there was even a dog for him to play with?

And then I walked in to the living room to see full on, no awkwardness, just pure delightful play.

JJ and Bandit Snuggle after play

JJ turns 9 in November and I really think this might be his first actual, non-family friend.

JJ and Bandit Hangin Out

These friends in progress spent the evening relaxing before it was time for JJ to go to bed. And I’ve probably mentioned this before, but this little boy has NEVER taken to a dog like this before, and he’s had dogs in his life for the last 6 years. So this is special.

For many people, these pictures are of an adorable little boy and a cute dog. But as a mom of a child with special needs…these pictures look like hope to me.




Thank you for stopping by. For more information about JJ’s story and the fundraising we’re doing, you can find him here : Help For JJ at the Paws 4 Autism page.


Alta and JJ






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: