July 21, 2019, Star2: Nahly the therapy dog brings calmness to the classroom
https://www.star2.com/living/2019/07/22/nahly-therapy-dog-calmness-classroom/ “Everyone has different ways of communicating, and not one way is better than another. But to succeed in school, and sometimes in life, you need to communicate in these narrow ways,” Gross said. “Dogs offer a reprieve from that because they communicate in unique ways by meeting people where they’re at.” In promoting this, he’s brought his trusty sidekick, Nahly, a seven-year-old Golden Retriever, to various programmes with FabNewport at places like East Bay Met, the MLK Center and the Providence Public Library. … “Each week, when Nahly and Chris come for our group, the energy level in the class immediately decreases as soon as Nahly enters the room. The students know that Nahly needs a calm and quiet environment. “They move slower and are much more deliberate with their movements and actions,” Caster wrote in a letter to the school administration. “The students in our programme, who may not interact much with others throughout the day, immediately gravitate to Nahly and speak to her. Nahly’s ability to non-verbally communicate with the students has helped them feel at ease and develop their confidence when communicating with each other.” … North Star mainly places dogs with people on the autism spectrum but has also made other placements for more social and emotional reasons, like grief or anxiety…. But Gross’s goal isn’t to get Nahly into every classroom on the island. He said that while placing dogs in families is beneficial, he wants to spread that love. “A facility dog can touch thousands of kids,” Gross said. … Among the feedback from students were: “Nahly gives me a comfortable feeling and I feel ready to learn”, “Nahly takes stress off everything happening in school”, and “She’s always calm next to people, and it’s good and relaxing for me”….