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by Jess

Students at Sierra Academy of Scottsdale Learn Valuable Lessons from Four-Legged ‘Therapists’

February 17, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

A new breed of therapist is helping special-needs students at Sierra Academy of Scottsdale master socialization skills and other classrooms lessons. The therapists – three of them, in fact – are dutiful, enthusiastic and, best of all, work for affection and a few tasty treats.

Three therapy dogs and their owners make much-anticipated weekly visits to Sierra Academy of Scottsdale to “teach students sensitivity, self-control, compassion and the importance of treating others – pets as well as people – with respect,” said academy director Debra Watland.  Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

High Road School “unleashes” a Cheerful New Therapist

June 12, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

NORMAL, Il. –  The newest staff member at High Road School turned out to be a real jack-of-all-trades. 

“Chip” – as everyone calls him – cheerfully greets students as they arrive at the Jersey Avenue-school. He’s a vigilant hall monitor. He helps students with their reading, encourages them to exercise at recess, and he even sits in on parent meetings. 

Chip works hard, but not for peanuts. “He likes dog biscuits better,” said JoAnn Ziegler, director at High Road School, who “hired” Chip last November and had the Yorkshire terrier trained as a therapy dog for her students who have learning, language, social and behavioral disabilities.  Read the rest of this entry →

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