After a soundless period of six years
After not saying one word for six years, first grader Marc Oliveri got his voice back with the help of a Delta therapy dog. Unresponsive to any kind of stimuli, coming either from the doctors or from his close ones, the boy opened up to a canine, much to the astonishment and overjoy of those who were on the verge of giving up on any chance of recovery.
“Selective mutism”, the condition that he seemed to have developed, is not very uncommon in children, especially in school, where some of them feel withdrawn or uncomfortable. Only that Marc, although he “seemed happy to be in school”, per his teacher’s words, cited by CBS News, wasn’t talking anywhere, not even in the safety of his home surrounded by family. All this, despite the fact that repeated visits to different doctors led to the same diagnosis, that is, that there was nothing wrong with him. And just when his parents were about to lose all hope, their son’s teacher came up with the idea of bringing Boo to class.
Boo is a Delta therapy dog and besides gaining the attention of the entire group of children with its tricks, it also managed to trigger something in Mark because that day he went home and for the first time in six years he went to his mom to tell her about his day at school. The teacher kept on bringing Boo to class twice a month and April, the boy’s mother says that now he talks almost constantly which can only prove the positive effect the dog had on Marc.
This sudden impulse to speak that Boo set off in Marc is all the more fascinating for both his family and the doctors, who found it very difficult to understand, given that it is still unknown what caused his six year silence in the first place. But it goes to prove what others have repeatedly stated, and that is that animals do have an important role in helping improve, if not actually cure, certain conditions, thus stressing the importance of having them around.
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