Lionheart puppies partner up with students with autism

(WXIA) ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- The Lionheart School in Alpharetta is taking typical and turning it on its furry, adorable head.

The golden retriever puppies from the Paws4People foundation will grow up to be service dogs for war veterans. But until they're four months old, they will stay with the students at Lionheart, a school for children with autism.

It's a first of its kind partnership in the nation, named LionPaws.

The students help socialize the puppies, desensitizing them to the ever changing noisy world around them.

Ten-year-old Max can tell the pups apart. When asked how, his answer is simple.

"Because I love them," he said.

The puppies really help these children in an area where many of them struggle: with social and emotional connections.

Education extends beyond the classroom. The puppies accompanied the class to Target.

The puppies serve as a furry badge of courage -- a bridge to the real world . The world the puppies and the students will live in one day.

The puppies are the students, but they're also the teachers, helping these children learn it's okay.

And that is a life changing lesson.


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