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Hillsboro boy with autism will officially use his service dog in school next week

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ribrepin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:54 PM
Original message
Hillsboro boy with autism will officially use his service dog in school next week
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 04:59 PM by ribrepin
Scooter, whose given name is Jordan, wears a belt that is attached to a harness on Madison. When Scooter tries to bolt, the dog sits or digs his claws into the ground and pulls back, stopping the boy.

If something startles Scooter and he works himself into a violent on-the-floor "meltdown," the dog puts his paw on the boy. If that doesn't work, Madison stands over him and then lies down on Scooter. The flailing and yelling stop almost immediately, and Scooter can get back on task, said Wendy Givens. Should Scooter run off and can't be found, Madison is trained to track him with the command, "Where's your boy?"

I don't know...sounds like a real help for the teachers. Mom states that "I'm excited for this to happen, but it should not have been that big of an ordeal."

http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2011/04/h...

edited to add link
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great news.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sounds like this will be a real help for the child
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Dogs are so awesome for humans. nt
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. While this is a good thing for the boy, I can't help but think of the teacher
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 05:05 PM by SoCalDem
who will have this added to her/his list of things to worry about during class.

parents who will complain about their child's allergies to the dog
the inclusion of this student's scores when evaluating the "performance" of the teacher
potential law suits from parents who feel that their child is being slighted somehow
time lost teaching, when dealing with "meltdowns"


there are probably millions of retired teachers who are very glad they taught when they did, and are now retired..
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ribrepin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:03 PM
Original message
Sounds like the boy is a real handful already
Service dogs are highly trained
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It's one LESS thing to worry about. n/t
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I hope none of the kids in his class are allergic to dogs
Neat story though.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I edited to include that
:)
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. then move them to another classroom.
Don't punish the special-needs child because of it.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. Would you deny a seeing-eye dog to a blind child?
As it is, dog allergies (unlike cat allergies) aren't all that common.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #30
50. I wouldn't deny a service dog to any disabled person, adult or child
I'm just pointing out that a child with allergies could suffer. And I don't think any of them should suffer. I'm thinking of the entire class, not only the child who needs the dog.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. So how would you solve the problem?
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 08:33 PM by pnwmom
As a parent with strong allergies and asthma, I would treat my child's allergies; I wouldn't oppose a service dog in the classroom.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. It would depend on how severe the allergies are
The solution lies with the parent of the child with the allergies.

The big problem here is since this is an autism class, the child probably can't just be transferred to a new class in the same building. So it really depends on treating the child with the allergies. And the school has no control over that.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. Right, it has no control over that. The school's only choice
as even the district finally realized, is complying with the ADA.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. The ADA also protects the child with allergies
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. The U.S. Justice Department informed the School District
that the ADA protected this child's right to a service animal. Apparently there was no other conflicting issue in this case. By the way, I read a few articles about this situation , and the dog has already been introduced into the classroom, for increasingly long periods each day, with no problems so far.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. worry about the dog?
or having an autistic child in her classroom?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. both n.t
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. wtf would she "worry" about the dog?
SERVICE DOGS are highly trained and NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!

Special needs children - well - she shouldn't "worry" about that either - no more than she should worry about any child in her class.

With the dog to help, she should have FEWER worries over the child's behaviour.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. *some* service dogs are highly trained
Not all the animals claimed as service animals are. Fair amount of controversy about that in many quarters.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #28
40. ADA policy will require thorough, disability-specific training
for any dog that is allowed though ADA. (Americans with Disabilities Act.)
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Is that a lock at this point?
Last I saw there was still considerable back and forth on training, certification, and breed/species issues.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. I read a bunch of articles about the Hillsboro case today,
and I'm not sure of the details on the issue - but it seemed to be clear that only well-trained, diagnosis-specific dogs will be used under the ADA rules.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. No matter which way the new rules go, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people
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ribrepin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Sounds like Scooter is already in an autism classroom
The teacher has a classroom full of autistic children; probably fairly handicapped by their autism.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. so then what would the "worry" be?
Sounds like "one less worry", to me!

Good doggie... maybe - if they're lucky - the other kids will get them, too!

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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. the kid is in an autism class, not in regular class.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 05:07 PM by KittyWampus
"This morning, Madison was introduced to Scooter's classmates in the autism classroom. The students met him in two groups, petted the dog and watched him do a few tricks. None of the children appeared disturbed by the dog, Givens said"
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. With autism rising the way it is, these classes may soon be the norm
I just hope these specialized teachers are paid well & have lots of help. I wonder if there is a limit to how many dogs per classroom..
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. The number getting diagnosed is going up, the incidence is not.
How may times to I have to repeat that there is no "autism epidemic"?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I don't know...how many times do you want to?
:rofl:
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. You can keep repeating yourself, but it's not true.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 07:06 PM by pnwmom
The data show that the incidence has increased far beyond what can be explained by better diagnosis.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. "Studies" funded by Autism Speaks, I bet.
Which has a vested interest in promoting hysteria to get donations.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. No, NIH funded studies carried out by reputable university researchers.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 07:24 PM by pnwmom
For example:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=autism...


California's sevenfold increase in autism cannot be explained by changes in doctors' diagnoses and most likely is due to environmental exposures, University of California scientists reported Thursday.

The scientists who authored the new study advocate a nationwide shift in autism research to focus on potential factors in the environment that babies and fetuses are exposed to, including pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products.

SNIP


The California researchers concluded that doctors are diagnosing autism at a younger age because of increased awareness. But that change is responsible for only about a 24 percent increase in children reported to be autistic by the age

"A shift toward younger age at diagnosis was clear but not huge," the report says.

Also, a shift in doctors diagnosing milder cases explains another 56 percent increase. And changes in state reporting of the disorder could account for around a 120 percent increase.

Combined, Hertz-Picciotto said those factors "don't get us close" to the 600 to 700 percent increase in diagnosed cases.

SNIP
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
33. These poor parents had to fight for 3 years to get this ADA allowed
dog into that classroom. There is no problem with an excess of dogs. Trained dogs are expensive and the school has required that the parents provide a trained handler for the dog.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. "the inclusion of this student's scores when evaluating the "performance" of the teacher"
Very good point.

People do not always realize that is happening.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
32. This is a special ed class. Are you suggesting that autistic students
burden even the teachers in a special ed class?

And what does this have to do with a service dog who will improve the behavior of the boy in the class?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #32
58. Eventually all students in all classes will be counted...
because of the way NCLB is set up unless they change it.

Autistic children are not a burden. If that child's class is in a private school, their scores won't count against a teacher. If they are in a special ed class in a public school, yes, it will happen.

It is not fair either to the student or the teacher.

I don't think many people are aware that is happening now, and from the student's view or the teacher's view.....it is not fair.

I rather resent your interpreting my comment as insulting toward autistic children. I have worked with them many times.

It is totally wrong to require a child with problems like that, one who has problems getting by day by day in a confusing world....to take standardized testing.
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catabryna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
19. He's already in an special needs room...
So, parents and kids aren't being slighted. If it reduces the number of meltdowns and prevents the kid from running out of the classroom, then that actually helps the teacher. Test scores aren't an issue here.

Allergies... that might be an issue, but parents of special needs kids are always accommodating of the needs of the other kids in those classrooms.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. Test scores are an issue in EVERY classroom. Even in special ed.
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catabryna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Yes, you are correct...
I was responding to the statement in SoCalDem's post that indicated that special needs kids would be pulling down the scores of students in regular education classrooms.

My kid is in special ed, and he most certainly takes mandated tests. But, we have to be realistic. This is why I have a problem with teaching to the test. FAPE requires school districts to educate these kids, regardless of IQ or disability. But, some kids are so profoundly challenged, that they will never be able to pass some of these tests or it will take them years to do so, even with accommodations. School districts are aware of this. Trending upward would clearly be a better marker in some cases.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #27
45. I agree with you
But SoCalDem also has a point. With the push to mainstream kids with disabilities, this child will be in a general education classroom before too long. I teach special ed and I am stunned by the number of children being pushed into general ed who can't begin to succeed in that environment.
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catabryna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #45
55. I agree with your assessment...
However, the post I was responding to clearly wasn't speaking to the issue of special ed kids being mainstreamed. Mainstreaming to some extent, however, can be very important to the development of the child, especially in terms of maturity.

I know my child couldn't handle full-time mainstreaming without an aide. He does, however, need to be exposed to "normal" children, for lack of a better word. If he is always in a class with kids who are just like him, it can have a negative affect. I push for mainstreaming for library, physical education and lunch, at this time. I'd like to see him mainstreamed for reading and spelling, because he excels in these areas but, maturity-wise, he's not ready yet.

He's an only child, so he has no at-home role models for behavior. At the same time, I realize that I can't expect the school to make up for things like that. Good teacher/parent communication seems to make these difficulties easier to work out.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. What is the point of bringing test scores up here?
The implication is that children with autism are unwelcome to teachers even in a special ed classroom because they might impact the test scores.

Complain about the system, not about the children with autism.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. I'm not complaining, just stating the truth
100% of our kids are tested. It's a law. It doesn't matter if they have disabilities.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Then the teacher should be grateful to have the dog and the trainer
in the classroom to help the boy function better.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #36
60. Because it is a real life problem. It needs to be addressed.
There should be great care exercised in requiring children with special problems to take tests like that. And there should be great care also in not declaring a teacher a failure in such a case.

This is what NCLB does, and it is real. 82% of schools will soon be failing because of it, and Arne is having to do some backtracking. Trouble is it is working as attended. Public schools were intended to fail..

You are too touchy on this subject. I taught and loved many special ed children, but testing them with standardized tests is not fair to them or the teacher.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
29.  You see to be implying that a child with autism doesn't deserve an education
because he might have meltdowns or his scores might be lower. THIS IS A SPECIAL ED CLASS. What do you mean, "the inclusion of this student's scores when evaluating the performance of the teacher"? If a teacher is worried about low test scores, s/he probably shouldn't be teaching special ed.

The dog will pose no special burden to the teacher. Part of the arrangement is that a trained handler (often the parent at other schools) must accompany the dog at all times. And the dog will help keep the boy calm and avoid the meltdowns that might otherwise be part of the boy's week. Other than the possibly issue of allergies - which are dealt with in seeing eye dogs, too -- I see no downside to having this trained dog and his handler in the boy's classroom.

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #29
49. Every teacher has to worry about test scores
It's delusional to believe otherwise.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #49
57. But what does that have to do with the OP about the dog?
The dog will have a trained handler -- so no extra work to the teacher. And, with his worst behaviors under control, the student is likely to improve his test scores, if anything.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. If those teachers are glad they retired, then I am, too.
Better to have some fresh, more flexible attitudes.
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
16. I am having trouble with all the negative comments here
I look at it as a good learning experience for everyone
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blue neen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Agreed.
I think it's a very postive story. :)
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. Could be a good thing
Unless we then start to hear pouting and complaining from the parents of a child who is allergic to dogs.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. Pouting and complaining?
So the kid who's allergic just needs to deal with it?

Wow.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. I have strong allergies and asthma, and children with the same.
But I wouldn't seek to deny a seeing-eye dog to a blind child or a service animal to a child with autism.

I'd treat any symptoms that my child had or -- if worse came to worst -- ask for my child to be moved. But I wouldn't blame the child who needed a service animal.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. Sounds liek you are fortunate enough not to have firsthand experience with other parents in a
special needs class situation. Trust me, we are all very supportive of what our kids' classmates can do to be better grounded during classtime. Very little whining of the type you suggest.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
20. YAY!!!
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
38. I also was touched by the story. Wonderful what a dog can do. n/t
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
26. Amazing what dogs can do. Nt
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
42. *Three years* for the school to comply with the law...
Sometimes, I have no words.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #42
52. A couple of the board members seemed like nasty, power-hungry types.
It still galls them that they had to back down.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #42
53. All it takes is one parent. I used to have animals in my classroom.
I had a rabbit, some white rats and a guinea pig. The kids loved them. They make awesome classroom companions, particularly for kids who are more easily excited. They are very calming.

Then a parent complained. She called the health dept. And I had to rid my classroom of the animals.

I doubt that will happen in this case, because this is a child who needs a service animal. But that doesn't mean a parent won't complain. I also suspect the district's concern about that parent who may complain and the threat of a lawsuit is what took so long for this case to be settled.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #53
62. That is so sad.
We had a lot of classroom pets when I was a kid. Fish, turtles, frogs, Mikey the guinea pig, Mickey and Minnie the gerbils, Harley the Hamster. Everybody loved them, and they were used to teach elementary biology and animal care. And they were very calming. And sometimes kids who felt sad would go talk to them and play with them and be cheered up a little.

I don't think any parent ever complained. I suppose if there'd been a severely allergic kid, it would have happened and been justifed--but it really doesn't seem like allergies of all kinds were as prevalent then (rural area, 70s and 80s) as they are now. The only allergy that was widely feared was the one to bee stings.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. This parent didn't even have a kid with allergies - she was just a nut
Yes, it was very sad.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #53
64. This is what has always angered me about public education
One parent's squawking can force a whole policy to be changed. One parent's pouting and complaining, even when 99% of everybody else is perfectly satisfied, causes lawsuit-phobic administrators to capitulate and change entire policies and procedures.
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