Rochester, NY: Therapy dog in school helps students read and socialize

Feb 4, 2018, Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle: Woof, woof! Dogs provide buddy therapy to help kids cope …That’s the thinking behind therapy dog programs, which are popping up in several of our eastside schools. Teachers and counselors are bringing their certified therapy dogs into their classrooms and offices to help students work through issues…. Rebecca Hyland, a speech/language pathologist at Plank Road North Elementary School, has been bringing her 12-year old schnoodle, Clara, to school about four times a year. Clara’s role is less about reading than about communicating in general. “All of my kids struggle with communication, and she can always get them to do more than I can,” Hyland said. “They talk more, use more words, longer sentences, write more. She is such a motivator.” … Right now there don't appear to be many official programs in place for school-based therapy dogs. But that may change, as these patient pups continue to prove their value to children who struggle with reading, socialization or other problems.