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Sumter, SC: Therapy puppy for SPED classroom; impacts students on the autism spectrum

Feb 4, 2019, Sumter (SC) Item: New therapy puppy at Bates Middle School helps students with autism come out of their shells,322179 Bates Middle School, like any other public school, keeps safety a top priority by requiring all staff members to wear ID badges - whether that staff member has two or four legs makes no difference. Kelly Snell has been bringing Bantam, a 12-week-old Miniature Schnauzer, to her special education classroom every day for the past couple weeks. Bantam may still be a therapy dog-in-training, but he has already made a marked impact on her 11 students, many of whom are on the autism spectrum. "We had one instance where a child was sent to the principal's office, and the child came in very agitated and very angry. And he walked over to Bantam and started talking to him and interacting with him, and he completely forgot why he was there. And he started talking to Dr. Hunter about his dogs. So that gave them something in common to talk about. He was over his agitation," Snell said. "And it was just someone in school, not in my class."…


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