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Cowboy & Wills : a love story

by Monica Holloway

  Print book : Biography

Dog Helps Autistic Boy Connect with Others   (2011-12-30)

Very Good

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by whisner

In this memoir, Monica Holloway tells about her son Wills, from his diagnosis of autism when he was about 3 through his first couple of years of school. The other title character is Cowboy, a female golden retriever the author gets Wills for Christmas. (She hadn't planned ahead enough and ended up getting her from a  pet store, an action she later regretted: poor Cowboy had a lot of health problems.)

Wills's relationship with Cowboy helps him handle social situations and connect with children and adults in ways he never had. It's an uplifting dog story, as well as an interesting tale of the challenges of autism. I note that Cowboy wasn't the only positive force helping Wills -- he was lucky enough to have two loving parents, a therapist or two, an aide at school, and great teachers at a private school. (Although its budget was not unlimited, the family had resources to help this special boy. What happens to children with special needs who are born into poor families?)

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