A MUM has praised an incredible three-year-old Pug for turning her autistic son’s life around.

Nicola Cantwell, 39, from Canvey, went through a difficult time getting a diagnosis for nine-year-old Teddy, who was showing signs of delayed speech and behavioural challenges.


Happy family - the Cantwells


Miracle - Pug Paris

When Teddy was three-and-a-half-years-old, he still did not speak and made very little eye contact.

The 39-year-old said : “I’m a qualified nursery nurse so I know how to bring on speech, but Teddy did not take anything from me and was just not interested in anyone.“Loud noises were a problem for him even though he was very loud himself.” after a year and a half of going back and forth with three different paediatricians who often told the mum-of-one ‘boys will be boys’, ‘boys are lazy’, a friend advised the mum to visit Brentwood Community Hospital.

After that visit, Teddy was finally diagnoses with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as anxiety disorder and hypermobility which means he has overly flexible joints which tires easily.

She added: “We went to the first appointment and saw Dr. Jayakumar who was amazing. there was a speech therapist sitting on the floor with Teddy keeping him occupied while the doctor asked us questions.

“The speech therapist was also observing Teddy at the same time.

“We were then asked to leave the room for five minutes and then called back in and we were giving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder straight away and got the ball rolling from there.”

Teddy also has anxiety disorder and hypermobility which means he has overly flexible joints which tires easily.

Then, 14 months ago, Nicola, and husband, Trevor, 48, got pug, Paris.

Paris and Teddy bonded instantly and transformed Teddy’s mood. Nicola added: “Paris is like his best friend – it’s like he can sense what mood Teddy is in.

“If he’s in a good mood, Paris will bring Teddy a toy, and he can also sense when he’s going to have a meltdown – that’s when she might lay with him. She seems to just know.

“She’s helped with Teddy’s walking as well as taking.

“She’s just enriched his life so much.

“Even encouraged his talking. She has just made him happier, more relaxed, and brought out a really lovely side to him. They have such a special bond, they are inseparable.

Now, the family love nothing more than taking the dog out for walks and going to dog shows together.

Nicola added: “They are just so in tune with each other. We love taking the dog out and it even helps me too.

“Some days Teddy is happy as Larry, and other days he isn’t.

“But when we go and take the dog out for a walk, it’s like for a minute you feel like you are out of the autism bubble. – you’re out talking to people and getting fresh air. She’s a little miracle for all of us.”