Four-year-old Hayden, from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, has nonverbal autism and was struggling with break in daily routine during lockdown.
Since Hayden doesn’t talk, he relies on his routine to manage his condition, and the coronavirus quarantine has made it hard to go about his daily activities.
His dad, Carl Morrison, wanted a way to cheer him up and help him cope, and finally came up with the perfect idea. He surprised Hayden with his very own puppy, an adorable Golden Retriever named Marley.
Morrison filmed the moment his wife handed Hayden the puppy in the car. In the start of the video, Hayden looked upset, but as soon as he saw the puppy, his whole face lit up.
Morrison said the moment was very special because Hayden rarely shows emotion, but was all smiles when he saw Marley.
Marley has settled into their home very quickly and has already helped Hayden so much. Before getting Marley, Hayden had a lot of meltdowns from having to stay inside all day, but now he is doing much better.
Morrison tweeted the adorable video, which has since gone viral. People from all over the world were deeply touched by little Hayden’s heartwarming reaction to meeting his new furry best friend.
Watch for yourself in the video below:
For children with autism, the pandemic has caused uncertainty and high levels of anxiety. But one charity is offering support in the form of specially trained assistance dogs.
Check out the video below to see how dogs are helping children with autism cope: