Sept 1, 2018, Missourian: Therapy Dog Is Being Considered As Resource for Lonedell Students http://www.emissourian.com/local_news/saint_clair/therapy-dog-is-being-considered-as-resource-for-lonedell-students/article_13b9701c-3d75-54da-9856-ee8465af0281.html The Lonedell R-XIV School District is looking into having a furry friend roam the halls. Principal Wayne Dierker told The Missourian that administrators wants to practice due diligence and look at all options to make the best decision in choosing a therapy dog for students…. “Many schools have added dogs into the educational setting because it can help calm all students, especially ones that have experienced trauma,” he said, adding that therapy dogs teach empathy, change the mood for a child or the classroom environment, and help students focus. “They provide a quick calming presence for students and staff and can be a great tool to use with students for academic and social motivation,” he said. The district has not used a therapy dog in the past, according to Dierker. “We are looking for innovative practices to support our students, especially our increasing population of students who need greater interventions and supports based on a variety of external factors,” he said…. “We do have a lot of children who get anxiety prior to taking a test. There’s research out there that shows that therapy dogs in the classroom can sometimes help reduce those anxiety levels,” she said. “We also would have hopes that it could help maybe work with some of our other children in a one-to-one type setting for kids who are struggling with anxiety or stress.”
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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.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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