Connor, who was adopted at four weeks old, was born addicted to opiates, and has since been diagnosed with damage to his brain and nervous system, in addition to a chromosomal disorder called DiGeorge syndrome, and autism.
“Connor is severely delayed psychologically, physically and emotionally,” Ms Guillet told CBS News.
“He is nonverbal and requires speech therapy. It is unknown whether he has the ability to speak with a limited vocabulary.”
Since he also has issues with motor skills, even using sign language is difficult for Connor, but his mother said Ellie is adept at understanding.
The family, from Florida, already had an eight-year-old boxer when they were contacted by a rescue centre in late December, which said it had a deaf animal that only responded to sign language available for adoption.
“I had a lightbulb go off immediately,” Ms Guillet said. “To think that Connor can sign to her and actually communicate with …