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Parrot Teaches Autistic Boy How to Talk

By United Kingdom News Group
(Originally in English)

Autistic children do not learn very well from experience. Often each event is a completely new occurrence to the child, even if the exact same thing happened yesterday. Therefore, consistency in everything the parents or teacher do and say is vital in education for an autistic child. Recently, a 4 year old boy from Blackburn, United Kingdom, is lucky to have an amazing teacher to teach him how to speak. This teacher is a gold macaw.

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Four year old Dylan Hargreaves suffers severe learning difficulties and had never spoken a single word. But after listening to Barney the macaw, he can now say “Night, night,” “Dad,” “Mum,” “Ta,” “Hallo,” and “Bye.” Dylan’s mum Michelle said, “Barney has changed our lives. Before he arrived, Dylan would try to speak, but the sound came out as a noise. Then we got Barney and, a few months later, Dylan began to talk. It was only the odd word, but I could clearly understand what he said. Every time I gave the bird something to say, Dylan started trying to say the same thing. I think it’s because the bird says things slower than me, which helps Dylan understand. Now when I put him to bed he says, ‘Night, night, mum.’ It means the world to me.”

Dylan’s mum credits his progress to Barney, because the boy loves his pet so much. The enjoyment the macaw brings attracts the child and keeps his attention and the bird’s slow repetition of words has greatly helped the boy’s learning process. What a beautiful and smart creature God has placed in the world to accompany us and to even teach us!