autistic boy helped by pup - TODAY graphicAutism left 8-year-old Jonny Hickey closed off and isolated. Most of his social interactions resulted in painful awkwardness; unfamiliar situations can trigger terror or tantrums.

Then, about two months ago, everything changed. Jonny forged a connection with a dog so unlikely that people familiar with it describe it as a miracle.

His new confidante brings out the best in him — his playfulness, his cute singing voice, his verbal assessments of everything he sees and experiences.

As a therapy dog Xenia became a savior for the family.

(WATCH the video below or READ the story from TODAY)

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