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(Australia) SPED teacher spends $10,000 of own money for therapy dog to reduce stress

June 11, 2018, (Australia) ABC: Teacher pays $10K for a companion dog to help her special education needs students A special education needs high school teacher has paid $10,000 out of her own pocket to buy a dog specially-trained to assist her students. Amina Rand bought Hannah, a Saint Bernard trained to work in special education needs classrooms at Broome Senior High School in Western Australia. It's been a long-held dream of Ms Rand's to have a companion dog in the classroom, but the cost has been a major challenge. "In my last school they said no, because they [the dogs] can cost about $25,000. Well, that's the price I was given 10 years ago," Ms Rand said. "So I decided to try to get a dog, and just train her." For $10,000, Ms Rand was able to purchase Hannah at six months of age, with basic training as a companion dog…. "Hannah reduces anxiety and stress, not only with my students, but also with my teaching assistants," Ms Rand said…. A companion dog also helps the special education needs students connect socially with the rest of the school. "A lot of my students don't have many social skills, so at recess and lunch they're lost," Ms Rand said….

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