May 24, 2019, Falmouth (MA) Enterprise: Classroom Assistance Dog Brings Canine Calm To Morse Pond Students https://www.capenews.net/falmouth/news/classroom-assistance-dog-brings-canine-calm-to-morse-pond-students/article_249b739c-4f37-5331-9a4d-6acf7a4edcdc.html Two-year-old Cooper—a black Labrador retriever who often wears a red vest—is a four-legged, furry celebrity at Morse Pond School. His popularity in the school is partly because of his cuteness and calm demeanor, but his work as a classroom assistance dog is what makes his role so important to students and staff…. In introducing Cooper and Ms. Sykes, Morse Pond Principal Kathleen M. Riordan said the school’s goal is “to support social-emotional learning and to have children learn at deep levels,” while recognizing that there are sometimes circumstances at school and at home that can prohibit learning. … Students who arrive at the school early, many of whom are in special education programs, might sit in the cafeteria not speaking to anyone, but they want to come over and talk to Cooper, Ms. Sykes said. “He’s trained almost like a therapy dog. He works in a clinical environment, my office, working on certain goals that I have for my students, whether it’s frustration tolerance or more interpersonal communication skills, as well as their overall well-being and happiness,” she said. Students who are struggling to focus, feeling anxious or overwhelmed, or experiencing emotions and behaviors that make it difficult to learn, will be able to use the therapy dog visits to calm themselves and refocus, allowing them to return to class….
Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.