The Silvas say their Goldendoodle "Chatham" helps their 4-year-old Ayden deal with his behavioral issues.
The Silvas adopted Ayden four years ago, and he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
The way it's been described to us from the doctors is it's like a short circuit. He bangs his head, bites himself. He'll slap himself, anything to try to make it stop," explained Ayden's mom Jennifer.
The problem now is that Ayden's is in A Catawba County pre-school and Chatham is not allowed in. Silva says the relationship between Chatham and Ayden is badly damaged by all those hours apart.
The Silvas have sued in federal court, with the help of a team of attorneys from the group, Disability Rights NC.
They've asked for an immediate injunction that would let Chatham go to school.