Parrot Teaches Boy How To Speak

by in Autistic Children, Unusual Kid Stories

An autistic boy who could not speak has learned his first words with the help of his family’s pet parrot.

Dylan Hargreaves, four, has severe learning difficulties and had never uttered a single word.

But after listening to macaw Barney, he can now say “Night, night”, “Dad”, “Mom”, “Ta”, “Hello” and “Bye”, reports The Sun.

And experts think he is close to his first two-syllable word.

Mom Michelle, 33, 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, mom’. It means the world to me.”

Michelle, was given three-year-old Barney by partner Rob Hargreaves, 33, last January.

Michelle reckons her son’s first two-syllable word will be Barney, because he loves his pet so much.

Speech therapist Dr Hazel Roddham of the University of Lancashire confirmed: “If there’s some enjoyment, a child is more likely to learn. And presumably this parrot has attracted the boy’s attention.”

About the Author

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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