We really push Mason to say "hi" to people when people come over or we go somewhere. He has improved, but definitely does not say "hi" to everyone. You know who he ALWAYS says "hi" to? Cats. He puts his face right in their face and says "hiiiii." His daycare provider has three cats. Thankfully, they are so patient with him. One of them lets Mason chase after him every morning and even walks through his legs, which Mason LOVES! My parents have a cat as well that for some reason doesn't run away from Mason. Mason's favorite people in the entire world are probably my parents. He is obsessed with them. As soon as he walks into their house, he walks right past them to say "hi" to the cat first. If he is every getting really emotionally dis-regulated and about to tantrum, a cat can help relax him and take his mind off of his tantrum. Let me tell you, there is nothing can get his mind off of something once he is about to tantrum...except cats (okay, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse).
We have been looking into getting a cat for Mason. Because a lot of our friends and family have bad cat allergies, we have been looking into hypoallergenic cats. In researching hypoallergenic cats, we found Siberian cats. Not only are they hypoallergenic, they generally have great temperaments that many times they are used for therapy cats. This made Zach and I really want to get one for Mason.
Last week, I saw this article: http://www.boredpanda.com/thula-therapy-cat-autistic-artist-iris-grace/
The article confirmed many of our thoughts. It helped me feel like I wasn't just making the benefits of a cat for Mason up in my mind. I love that the mom said that the cat helped her daughter stay calmer and reduce anxieties as well as encouraging her to be more social and improve communication. These were the exact reasons I wanted a therapy cat for Mason.
With the encouragement of some of our friends, we have decided to ask our friends and family for help in making this happen for Mason. We have created this gofundme account to raise money to buy a Siberian cat.
The funds will go toward buying the cat ($1000) and towards initial vet costs such as spaying/neutering and immunizations ($400).
Thank you so much for your thoughts and contributions to Mason's Therapy Cat.