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Therapy dogs and Allergies

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My friend's dog Scout alerts to her son's seizures and has stopped him from hitting the floor. I don't know the mechanism of action but Scout's completely effective. He is fully trained to do this (his primary job) and he wears a red vest.

That is So. Cool. Almost don't want to know the mechanism of action. Takes away from the magic a little.

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Just to double check, are we actually talking about a child's ADA-recognized service dog, or a therapy dog? If it's a service dog, that should be recognized as being part of a child's disabilities management, and I would work to accommodate this at school.

If it's a therapy dog for a child, I'd be wondering what the dog's training background is, the reason for having the dog, etc., and would be more hesitant. Some folks have "therapy" dogs that are really just Fido with a reflective vest costume.

If it's a therapy dog that's going to visit the school once a week or something like that, then there should hopefully be a way to let kids participate if they don't have any dog-related health issues. But I also reallllly love dogs, so I might be biased here on the last part.

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There is a difference. A Therapy dog must undergo extensive training, be bonded and insured, and isn't assigned to one particular individual, like a service dog. They are subjected to intense initiations such as basketball games, band concerts, startle training, interaction with other animals, etc. We have one in our district just finishing up her certification.

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There is a difference. A Therapy dog must undergo extensive training, be bonded and insured, and isn't assigned to one particular individual, like a service dog. They are subjected to intense initiations such as basketball games, band concerts, startle training, interaction with other animals, etc. We have one in our district just finishing up her certification.

Not gonna lie, I know your post was a serious response to my question OldDude, but it sounds absolutely adorable. I can just picture the dog's report card for training: Band concerts- A. Startle Training- A. Basketball Games- B+ because he tried to chase the ball too many times in the beginning. Report card comments: He's a good boy :happy:

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This came up last year at my school; I had a student who was allowed to have an emotional support dog on my campus. Everything was done incorrectly, according to guidelines that I found (the dog was prescribed by her pediatrician instead of a mental health professional, the parent referred to the dog as a service animal when it was actually her puppy and had undergone no training, my principal approved it without discussing it with anyone on campus), and the dog would run around the classrooms and defecate in the hallway. Luckily, we never encountered a situation with a student with an allergy to the dog, but it would have been a mess had anything happened. I just kept a folder of documentation where I tried to educate my principal, 504 coordinator, and the student's counselor.

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Wow! Call me clueless, but can service animals really detect seizure activity and sniff out glucose levels? I could understand DKA, but I can smell that.

Yes to the seizure dog....My cousin has a daughter with a seizure disorder and she had a service dog trained to detect oncoming seizures when her daughter was younger - I was skeptical at first until I witnessed with my own eyes. They used the dog for a good 10 years, sadly the dog passed away.

Amazing what animals can do.

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This is a genuine service animal and not a "comfort animal?" The pupper will detect seizure activity, sniff out a high or low blood glucose? I think you want that on campus, right? How many teachers are covered in pet dander daily? I am (dog and cat).

I think it's a case by case consideration. If a child has asthma that is demonstrably affected by dander then maybe s/he is not in the same class with the dog?

Let us know how this works out!

I have been approached by a student who proposes we should have one as emotional support for all in the building. We shall see...should have posted that earlier...oopsie

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I have been approached by a student who proposes we should have one as emotional support for all in the building. We shall see...should have posted that earlier...oopsie

Last year Ruby Jane Jr.'s school had a fully trained and vetted comfort dog (in a revamped closet in the nurse's office). The counselors reported anecdotally that students who were stressed experienced measurable relief. StuCo had a "pawty" for the dog's birthday and got items to donate to the animal shelter. Everyone was happy. Then a parent who was allergic to dander shut that down in three months. If you're exploring, start with the policy in your own district and look at surrounding districts to see what they're doing. Good luck!

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I would LOVE to have a emotional support dog visit - SO MANY of the kids here (and staff) would benefit.

But I also have a kid with severe asthma and a severe dog allergy, so likely a no go. I am a dog and cat owner myself and I try my best to be dander free when I enter school, but I am certain that I am not.

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Last year Ruby Jane Jr.'s school had a fully trained and vetted comfort dog (in a revamped closet in the nurse's office). The counselors reported anecdotally that students who were stressed experienced measurable relief. StuCo had a "pawty" for the dog's birthday and got items to donate to the animal shelter. Everyone was happy. Then a parent who was allergic to dander shut that down in three months. If you're exploring, start with the policy in your own district and look at surrounding districts to see what they're doing. Good luck!

Huh. So, this parent is so allergic as to cause discomfort even when her child was exposed to the dog, what? twice a week? Does her child never hang out in other kids' houses with dogs? I'm trying to get my head around this. Couldn't they just have not allowed this particular student to interact with the dog? Or better yet, couldn't this parent have (horrors!) explained to the child that, unfortunately, the dog's dander (or aura or cooties or however you explain it to a child) get on your clothes and hands and then make mommy/daddy feel really crummy, so please don't touch the dog? The parent could have also explained that this is a problem that their family has to deal with and they aren't going to ruin it for everyone else. Guess that's a pipe dream in our times.

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Last year Ruby Jane Jr.'s school had a fully trained and vetted comfort dog (in a revamped closet in the nurse's office). The counselors reported anecdotally that students who were stressed experienced measurable relief. StuCo had a "pawty" for the dog's birthday and got items to donate to the animal shelter. Everyone was happy. Then a parent who was allergic to dander shut that down in three months. If you're exploring, start with the policy in your own district and look at surrounding districts to see what they're doing. Good luck!

Huh. So, this parent is so allergic as to cause discomfort even when her child was exposed to the dog, what? twice a week? Does her child never hang out in other kids' houses with dogs? I'm trying to get my head around this. Couldn't they just have not allowed this particular student to interact with the dog? Or better yet, couldn't this parent have (horrors!) explained to the child that, unfortunately, the dog's dander (or aura or cooties or however you explain it to a child) get on your clothes and hands and then make mommy/daddy feel really crummy, so please don't touch the dog? The parent could have also explained that this is a problem that their family has to deal with and they aren't going to ruin it for everyone else. Guess that's a pipe dream in our times.

Spineless administration...pure and simple.

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Huh. So, this parent is so allergic as to cause discomfort even when her child was exposed to the dog, what? twice a week? Does her child never hang out in other kids' houses with dogs? I'm trying to get my head around this. Couldn't they just have not allowed this particular student to interact with the dog? Or better yet, couldn't this parent have (horrors!) explained to the child that, unfortunately, the dog's dander (or aura or cooties or however you explain it to a child) get on your clothes and hands and then make mommy/daddy feel really crummy, so please don't touch the dog? The parent could have also explained that this is a problem that their family has to deal with and they aren't going to ruin it for everyone else. Guess that's a pipe dream in our times.

Pretty sure the parent was not on campus frequently. Pretty sure it was the idea of rather than the actuality of the dog.

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