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 Should The Service Dog Go To School?

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BigBrownEyes29
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PostSubject: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Tue 23 Nov 2010, 11:48 pm

What are your thoughts on this? I came across this topic on a debate forum.

When Autistic Son Denied Service Dog, Mom Bites Back

by Tom Henderson (Subscribe to Tom Henderson's posts)
Nov 19th 2010 4:48PM



A Florida school district doesn't want any doggone service animals. Credit: Jennifer Hlad/Capital News Service/MCT
What's with the Collier County School District in Naples, Fla., and dogs?

A dog could get the distinct impression he's not wanted in southwest Florida schools. District officials just refused to a let a 6-year-old boy with autism bring his service dog to school.

The Naples Daily News reports this decision comes eight months after district officials agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the parents of another boy denied a service dog.

William and Brenda Hughes filed the suit, claiming the district violated, among other other laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act. They argued their son, Derek, needed a dog to help him deal with both autism and epilepsy.

The current case involves John "J.C." Bowen, a 6-year-old with autism. His mother, Elizabeth Lasanta, tells the Daily News he needs the dog because it helps her son remain calm in class and can respond properly if he has a seizure.

School officials say Lasanta fails to make a convincing argument. District policy defines a service animal as "an animal trained to accompany its owner or handler for the purpose of carrying items, retrieving objects, pulling a wheelchair, alerting the owner or handler to medical conditions or other such activities of service or support necessary to mitigate a disability."

Sorry, they say. Pepsi the yellow retriever just doesn't qualify.

Lasanta tells the Daily News the school district has another fight on its hands.

"You wouldn't deny a student the right to bring an asthma inhaler to school if he had a prescription," she tells the newspaper. "My son has a prescription for his service dog."

The fight is already a year old. It began in preschool, when Lasanta tried to get a service dog added to her boy's individualized education plan .

"Given John's progress, a service dog was not needed for the purposes of the individualized education plan that we had developed for John to provide him with an appropriate education," Estates Elementary Principal Francine Eufemia wrote in a letter to Lasanta.

The letter adds that school officials "considered the mother's request to have the dog in public areas of the school so that J.C. could bond with the dog."

That part really ticked Lasanta off.

"My son doesn't need to bond with his dog," she tells the Daily News. "That was not the reason for my request."

Jon Fishbane, the Collier County School District's attorney, tells the newspaper he can't comment on the issue. School officials and Bowen's family are in the middle of a hearing, which resumes in December.

The $125,000 school officials agreed to pay in April to the Hughes family included a provision that the district doesn't have to admit it did anything wrong.

The Daily News also reports the money will be paid by the district's insurance carrier and doesn't involve any direct district funds.

As part of the settlement, the newspaper reports, the Hughes family agreed to drop all complaints and not to enroll Derek in Collier County Public Schools ever again.

Lasanta tells the Daily News she's not going anyway. Unlike the Hughes, she says, she can't afford to settle out of court and get out of Dodge. If school officials want to fight, they better make some sandwiches. It could be a long siege, she says.

"We have 14 more years with my kids in this school district," she tells the paper. "We can play nice. Or we can battle it out. But I will not have the district infringing on his rights."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504744_162-20022978-10391703.html?tag=cbsnewsTwoColUpperPromoArea
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yorkiemom
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 12:26 am

A service dog can be a big help to an autsitic child,and the school district is out of line by denying the boy the right to have it in the school with him

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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 12:35 am

yorkiemom wrote:
A service dog can be a big help to an autsitic child,and the school district is out of line by denying the boy the right to have it in the school with him

I agree. It is not like by allowing this boy to have his service dog will open the floodgates, resulting in hundreds of kids applying to bring their dogs. Let the boy have his dog - he has autism and epilepsy for goodness sake, can't everyone try to do the right thing for his life to help ease his troubles? What the hell does it hurt the school?

I'm not sure, maybe the school is making the correct legal decision, but it sure is not making a moral decision, in my books.
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 2:16 am

YES... :o
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BigBrownEyes29
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 10:09 am

I'm on the fence with this one. What if there are kids in this child's class that are allergic to dogs. It would also depend on how well trained the dog is. From the pics, the dog appears to be a puppy and still has a few yeasr to go before it can be considered well trained. What if this puppy in the adolescent stage bites a child, I'm always of the impression that dogs should be heavily supervised around children that are not of the household. But then there is the fact that this child can focus much better in class when the puppy is with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 11:07 am

I hate it when yu make sense BBE so stop it,lol

I just know that autistic children can use all the help they can get,there has to be a way to work around allergeys so the child can get his education to the best of the schools ability

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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 11:41 am

I'm with BBE on that fence. When you say "Autism" it covers a huge spectrum of disability. I'd really like to hear more from both sides before I could offer a definitive opinion, but for what it's worth I'd be leaning to not allowing the dog in the school. As I read the article, it's not trained (and as BBE states, it does look like a puppy) to detect his seizures, it's there to help him calm down as he pets it. I wonder if they offered a "quiet room" for the boy and his dog if he felt he was getting upset? I wonder if the mother offered to be there all day to care for the dog?
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 12:11 pm

some really good questions UM,I think I lean toward whatever it takes because 2 of my foster grandkids have autisim

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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 4:34 pm

yorkiemom wrote:
I hate it when yu make sense BBE so stop it,lol

I just know that autistic children can use all the help they can get,there has to be a way to work around allergeys so the child can get his education to the best of the schools ability

LOL ... I don't make sense, I'm just trying to see it from both points of view (the child's and the school's).
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Wed 24 Nov 2010, 7:24 pm

My mind keeps going back to the little boy that drowned in Wichita I think it was,maybe if he had a service dog the dog could have somehow stopped him from going into the water

Autistic children have no fear of anything or anyone and that is scary for the parents who try to protect them,they need all the arms and legs they can get

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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Thu 25 Nov 2010, 12:45 am

BigBrownEyes29 wrote:
I'm on the fence with this one. What if there are kids in this child's class that are allergic to dogs. It would also depend on how well trained the dog is. From the pics, the dog appears to be a puppy and still has a few yeasr to go before it can be considered well trained. What if this puppy in the adolescent stage bites a child, I'm always of the impression that dogs should be heavily supervised around children that are not of the household. But then there is the fact that this child can focus much better in class when the puppy is with him.

OK I too was not thinking of these issues. BUT I think my opinion is the same. If the boy was blind, we would not question a service dog because we are used to it. I guess a good question could be - based on the dog's training/age/etc, is it a "real" service dog, or just a companion/pet? And according to who - I would take the opinion of a professional, not the mother or school board. Either side would likely be biased as they have already formed their opinions... My 2 cents.
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PostSubject: Re: Should The Service Dog Go To School?   Thu 25 Nov 2010, 10:07 am

Amomma wrote:
BigBrownEyes29 wrote:
I'm on the fence with this one. What if there are kids in this child's class that are allergic to dogs. It would also depend on how well trained the dog is. From the pics, the dog appears to be a puppy and still has a few yeasr to go before it can be considered well trained. What if this puppy in the adolescent stage bites a child, I'm always of the impression that dogs should be heavily supervised around children that are not of the household. But then there is the fact that this child can focus much better in class when the puppy is with him.

OK I too was not thinking of these issues. BUT I think my opinion is the same. If the boy was blind, we would not question a service dog because we are used to it. I guess a good question could be - based on the dog's training/age/etc, is it a "real" service dog, or just a companion/pet? And according to who - I would take the opinion of a professional, not the mother or school board. Either side would likely be biased as they have already formed their opinions... My 2 cents.

From the article, I got the impression that the dog was not a true service dog, but more of a companion dog. There are quite a few service dogs in the obedience school that I take my dog to. They are more companion service dogs (with the exception of two of the dogs there), most help their owners who have some type of mental health issues. The other two, one is a hearing dog for his owner who is deaf, the other helps his owner who has cerebral palsy. If his owner falls, she cannot get herself back up on her own, if she drops something, she is not able to bend down to pick the item up. The owner can walk, she has a milder form of cerebral palsy. Anyhoo, my opinion would have been to definitely allow the dog in the school, instead of being on the fence about it, if the dog had been a seeing eye dog, or a true service dog.
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