Service Dogs in the Classroom

LouiePsychiatrist, Shanna Hollingsworth writes on the topic of Service Dogs and Autistic Children referencing her own experience,

“A Service Dog is valuable medicine for an Autistic child. My son’s Service Dog can locate him on a moment’s notice. She leads him, as would a guide dog for the blind, through the grocery store behind me and my husband. When our son has an ‘overload moment’ he has learned to sit on the floor and hug his Service Dog. This form of therapy termed, “Deep Pressure” is routinely administered to Autistic children.

I have witnessed a significant reduction in the manifestation of rhythmic behaviors since the arrival of ‘Magick’, my son’s Service Dog.

Another function that Magick provides my son is comforting touch throughout the night. This prevents several symptoms of Autism that would otherwise manifest such as, sleep walking, teeth grinding, night terrors, and insomnia. Functioning on a sound night of sleep serves to further reduce my son’s symptomology during the daytime.”

Parents want the service dogs to accompany their children to school. One school has accepted service dog accompaniment only after a court order. What is your view?

Should service dogs be allowed in the classroom?


5 Responses to Service Dogs in the Classroom

  1. Are service dogs used to assist children with special needs in other countries? Can anyone with knowledge on this matter reply?

  2. findingschools says:

    My daughter’s public elementary school had the principal’s pet dog as a mascot for the past 4 years. The dog know as “Buddy” is a standard french poodle and came to school everyday. At first I was hesitant to accept Buddy at the school. After a few months it was very clear that Buddy became a wonderful teaching tool for moral behavior at the school. Buddy accepted all children, he did not evaluate them on their academic success, appearances or physical abilities. I do not know all of the details but I do know that he helped with special needs students. Buddy is not officially trained as a service dog. I am not sure how all of the community feels about Buddy at school. But I do know that the children love him and the teacher’s accept him at part of the staff.

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