Person With Autism Shares Video of Dog Helping Him Through a Meltdown
The powerful video below gives a glimpse into the special relationship between a person with an autism spectrum disorder and his service dog.
In the video, Kayden Clark, who has Asperger’s syndrome, can be seen having a meltdown in which he cries and repeatedly hits himself. His service dog, Samson, barks and nudges him until he begins to calm down.
Update — Saturday Feb. 6 10:45 a.m. PST — A previous version of this article misgendered Kayden Clark. The article has since been updated.
“This is what having Aspergers is like,” Clark, 24, writes in the YouTube description of the video. “This really happened, and it’s not easy to open myself and share what it’s like on a daily basis.”
Clark, from Tempe, Arizona, posted the video to show others what it can be like to live with his condition, BuzzFeed reported. Samson is a 4-year-old rottweiler from a rescue center. He was trained for service work for people with Asperger’s syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or anxiety disorders.
Samson knows how to react to meltdowns, anger, depressive episodes, flashbacks and nightmares, stimming and panic attacks.
“What I’d like the public to know is that child or adult in a store screaming or kicking and crying may not [be] having a tantrum because he’s not getting his or her way,” Clark told BuzzFeed. “It may be because the lights are hurting him because it’s too bright, the smells in the store [are] too strong, and it’s too loud for his ears, and the only way to express himself is through a meltdown.”
The video below has since been removed on YouTube.