Mom says school district changes autistic daughter’s IEP, balks at letting service dog come to school | www.WHEC.com. I saw this reported on this morning, and wanted to share. I’ve seen an increase in families having to fight to allow service dogs to accompany their child at school. It’s a new way to help autistic children, and has been met with controversy.
Therapy dogs for autism is an amazing thing. The trained dogs can help an autistic child by recognizing seizures before others. Providing an emotionally calming presence. Trained dogs can keep a child from wandering away, a huge concern for most autistic parents. Unfortunately, because this is “new” it’s been met with resistance from some schools.
Therapy Dogs For Autism vs. Other Service Dogs
Would a school deny a blind child a service dog at school? I’d like to say no, but I’m not too sure about that these days. I think that there are some schools that would. But, I also believe that most would not. Why? Because it has been proven to be beneficial for a blind individual to have a service dog. Therapy dogs for autism is a new thing, and we all know how hard it is to get the public schools to accept something new.
There’s also the cost of special training for an aide to handle the service dog. As far as I am concerned, that shouldn’t be a factor. However, it often is. What really gets me about this story, though, is how the IEP was changed.
I’ve had forms sent home, asked to sign, been told that there was a clerical error and this was to take care of it. Well, the clerical errors never resulted in a change like the one documented in the above linked article. That is a horrible thing for the school to do. It’s probably also something that legally can’t be proven to be an underhanded action by the school.