6-year-old with autism reads to Gardena shelter dogs so they won't feel lonely

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An autistic boy is opening us, his mother says, after he began reading to shelter dogs. (ABC News/Lisa Dekowski-Ferranti)

A local boy is helping shy rescue dogs come out of their shells by reading to them.

Jacob Tumalan, 6, who has autism, began reading to pups after his aunt, Lisa Dekowski-Ferranti, brought him to Carson Animal Shelter in Gardena, where she and her daughter Lindsay volunteer.

Mom Katie Tumalan told ABC News that Jacob's weekly visits to the shelter have improved his reading skills and even helped him come out of his own shell a bit.

"My son has always had a big problem with loud noises and a lot of activity around him," said Tumalan, who is from La Habra. "When he's there, he looks like he's pretty focused and he could block a lot of that out. At times he'll cover his ears, but he stays in tune with the dogs while reading his books, so that's pretty awesome to me."

For the full report, go to abcnews.com.
Related Topics:
societyautismpetdogsshelterreadingGardenaLos Angeles County
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