Isaac and Kaylor

Kaylor jumped onto the bench and sat facing the camera. His buddy, Isaac, watched as the lights flashed with every photo taken.

Kaylor is a skilled companion that was matched with Isaac free of charge in 2014.

Prior to receiving Skilled Companion Kaylor, Isaac had overwhelming fear and anxiety and was unable to even enter the room with all the big photography lights. But after Kaylor showed Isaac how it was done, Isaac was able to have his yearbook picture taken for the first time.

“Isaac’s lack of social skills and the fact that he is non-verbal and unable to make friends is what pushed us to apply for an assistance dog,” explains Dawn, Isaac’s mom. Isaac was diagnosed with severe autism and cognitive delays. “Isaac’s developmental pediatrician agreed that getting an assistance dog for Isaac would be a good idea.”

Isaac, who uses an iPad to communicate, is already engaging more with Kaylor by his side. “He is teaching Kaylor to listen to commands from the voice on his iPad, and Kaylor picks it up so quickly!” says Dawn. “Having Kaylor has helped Isaac when interacting with his peers. In the past, Isaac stayed 30 feet away from anyone, covering his ears and never looking at anyone, but Kaylor made Isaac visible.”

Dawn attributes the success of Isaac and Kaylor’s partnership to Kaylor’s temperament, “Kaylor doesn’t get overly excitable or get in Isaac’s face. He has the perfect temperament. He is now my third child and Isaac’s best friend.”