(Australia) New Castle: School's therapy dogs relieve anxiety in students

Feb 26, 2018, (Australia) New Castle Herald: School's four-legged staff members start as canines join classes at Maitland High … "Pi comes to assembly and sits when the children sit and stands when the children stand. They’ve been such a positive thing for our school and had such a positive effect on the attendance of some of our students. We had one boy who had not attended all of 2017 largely because of anxiety and he’s not missed a day.” … Ms Graham said empirical evidence had shown education support dogs could enhance children’s psychological development, improve social skills and increase self-esteem, as well as teach responsibility, compassion, and respect for other living things. … “If someone is not able to settle in the classroom and requires a bit of time out it doesn't need to be a negative experience and them sitting on the deputy’s bench not learning. We want to help students to self regulate their emotions so they can settle and we can bring the conversation back to learning. They can pat the dog for five minutes, then with the support of a learning and support teacher continue their work with one-on-one support.” …

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