Unusual Kid Stories

Parrot Teaches Boy How To Speak

A young boy with autism who was unable to speak has made extraordinary progress thanks to his family’s pet parrot.

Dylan Hargreaves, a four-year-old with severe learning difficulties, had never spoken a single word. However, after spending time with their macaw named Barney, Dylan can now say several words and is even close to forming his first two-syllable word.

According to reports from The Sun, Dylan can now say “Night, night,” “Dad,” “Mom,” “Ta,” “Hello,” and “Bye.” His mother, Michelle, has noticed a significant change in Dylan’s communication since the arrival of Barney. She explains, “Before Barney came into our lives, Dylan would attempt to speak, but it would come out as unintelligible noise. But a few months after Barney arrived, Dylan started to talk. It was just a few words, but I could understand what he was saying.”

Michelle believes that Barney’s slower and clearer speech has had a positive impact on Dylan’s language development. She adds, “Every time I prompted Barney to say something, Dylan would try to repeat the same thing. I think it’s because Barney’s pace of speech helps Dylan understand better. Now, when I tuck him into bed, he says, ‘Night, night, mom.’ It means the world to me.”

Michelle’s partner, Rob, gifted Barney to the family in January last year. Michelle anticipates that Dylan’s first two-syllable word will be “Barney” because of the deep bond between the boy and his beloved pet.

Speech therapist, Dr. Hazel Roddham from the University of Lancashire, explains that when a child finds enjoyment in an activity, such as interacting with a parrot, they are more likely to learn. She believes that Barney’s presence has captured Dylan’s attention and contributed to his progress.


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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