A support dog has helped to transform the life of an autistic boy and his family, helping him to go from completely non-verbal to a happy, thriving little boy…

Alexander Duthie, seven, from South Milford, North Yorkshire, was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder as a young boy and was deemed non-verbal, but after meeting Chester, provided by Support Dogs, his life has begun to turn around.

Since Chester first joined the family a year ago, he has helped to keep Alexander safe from danger, as well as reduce stress from sensory overload which many children with autism experience.

For parents Anna (40) and Adrian Duthie (54), their son’s diagnosis changed their lives overnight. Alex was unable to leave the house as he had no sense of danger, and often used to run into roads. Now Chester keeps him safe.

Fear of new experiences

“Having Chester there gives Alex confidence to try things that he was previously too frightened to try. It’s amazing! I’m not a big fan of the word amazing, because I think it’s over-used, but it really is amazing,” gushed Mrs Duthie.

WIN a R 5,000 Foschini Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Chester has even helped Alex develop language skills – so that Alex can give Chester commands to follow.

Together with autism support dogs, the “Support Dogs” charity provides seizure alert dogs for people with epilepsy, and disability assistance dogs with people with physical disabilities.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.