|Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 6:35pm PST |
I am a speech-language pathologist in a massachusetts middle school..
I have a registered therapy dog with Dog B.O.N.E.S. therapy dogs of Massachusetts, (who is also a reading partner and a CGC through the AKC)... With the approval of my principal a few years ago, we created a program, sent out permission slips, put up warning signs outside of my office and Otto began coming to school on Fridays (the custodians were able to vacuum that day after we left). The program was great and the kids made incredible progress. Unfortunately, the SPED director who is allergic and scared of dogs, got wind of it and the program stopped. So unfortunate, especially for my kids on the autistic/pdd spectrum and other developmental delays.
I want to start bringing him back to school to help with my students (many of whom have social language issues) and am looking for ammunition. Do you have any research, advice, etc...that might help me bring Otto to school. I know the building admin will be supportive but the district admin will be a battle. The primary issues right now are concerns about allergies, and policy.
Do you have any samples of a written policy for use of a therapy dog in a public school that I could provide to the school board as I was just told that I will be allowed to address them about the issue in the hope that they will write in a policy and allow Otto to come? any other suggestions?
Thanks so much,
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