nathanNathan is a 4 year old boy with a severe speech impairment related to an anatomical abnormality of his palate. He has been in speech therapy for most of his short life. His parents were very concerned with the discrepant diagnoses that Nathan had received and the lack of progress in speech therapy. They sought out further information and found their way to Dr. D’Antonio. Nathan and his family live a great distance from Southern California and in order to have evaluations and therapy with Dr. D. they would travel and schedule intensive therapy on a daily basis for a week at a time. Such aggressive therapy is a challenge and tiring for such a young child. Enter Kanzu the therapy dog. It was always a thrill for Nathan to come to visit Kanzu and to be able to see him after his therapy sessions. Nathan’s parents also rewarded Nathan with a special prize after each week of therapy.


After his most recent week of therapy, Nathan earned a trip to the nearby toy store where as his parents had promised, a ‘Jeff Gorvette’ car was waiting for Nathan. Nathan’s mother related the following wonderful story about Nathan’s trip to the toy store:


“Yesterday after our session, we took Nathan to the toy store as promised. As we walked in, we reminded him that he could get one car for working so hard. He agreed and all was well. He went in and picked up one Jeff Gorvette car and was very excited and started to walk away. He then stoped dead in his tracks and said “wait wait wait!” He ran back and grabbed a second Jeff Gorvette. I looked at him quizzically and reminded him that he only earned 1 car. He then explained that Dr D needed a car for working so hard too. Then he picked up a third car and said “Kanzu was a good listener. He needs a car too.” It was very sweet — we ultimately explained that Dr D would get her own reward and one for Kanzu so he finally put it down and seemed relieved.”


It sounds like Kanzu made quite the impression and Linda had to agree…..Kanzu was a very good listener.  And yes, he got lots of nice rewards for being a great speech therapy assistant.