The Together Anything is Pawsible Facebook page was set up in April 2019 by mum Hayley as she was blown away by the difference one special spaniel had made to her son's life and they thought others may like to follow their journey through life. They now have over 7,000 followers and growing. Leon also known as Mancub calls them "The Peoples". The Peoples are in awe of Mancub and Fern's relationship and many followers say that the daily updates are the highlight of their day. They bring a lot of joy to a lot of peoples and on the bad days we all go through it together. Their support is unwavering. Mancub and Fern is a partnership that will keep getting stronger and stronger, in all honesty she is at her happiest when she's with her boy. She just loves to help.
Words from Hayley, Mancub's mum:
Mancub suffers from a rare brain condition called Chiari Malformation and is also autistic. He is primarily fed through a pump feed gastrostomy inserted in his tummy. His best friend Fern is the sweetest little spaniel and is his assistance dog.
When Mancub was a toddler my husband and I went to look at an adult male cocker spaniel for flushing work with the hawks in our falconry business. Fern jumped out of a whelping box and snuggled into me and well that was just the start of it! At that time Mancub was stuck deep in the depths of autism - no eye contact, no words, no interaction. He was sadly locked in his own little world until he met Fern. It was love at first sight, his eyes lit up and the pair became inseparable. At first Mancub started interacting not with humans but with Fern and he had a sparkle in his eyes we hadn't seen before.
After extensive research I found our wonderful trainer Lila who has put in such a lot of hard work to help make Fern the dog she is today, and for that we will be forever grateful. Mancub has progressed so much. He has gone from being non-verbal to a complete chatterbox. He gives eye contact, interacts with animals and humans alike and he loves his Fern to bits! The help Fern gives us every day is just amazing and cannot be underestimated. From calming meltdowns with deep pressure, to stair guarding and stopping Mancub from headbutting, she has numerous routines and tasks that make our family life so much easier and she loves helping out. We couldn't imagine not having her help now.
T.A.P's aim has always been to help other children with Autism. They truly believe that introducing an assistance dog at such an early age to a child makes a huge difference.
Most charities will not consider children below the age of 10, but T.A.P. Assistance dogs will provide a family with a fully trained assistance dog from the age of 3.
They are aiming to be able to purchase, have trained to a childs specific needs and place a dog within a family that has a young child needing the support and love that a dogs brings.
As of June 2022 T.A.P has purchased two dogs which have been carefully selected for training to be Assistance Dogs - both pups have been placed with families and are undergoing training to be the best assistance dogs they can be!
All T.A.P puppies are trained to assist their little human in day to day life concentrating on areas the child finds difficult and receive a tailored training plan to ensure that the dog receives training to learn tasks and behaviours that will help the child it is placed with, the spectrum is huge and no two children are the same in their needs.
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