My Special Needs Network

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Canine Companion Assists with Adapted PE

In keep with our theme this month on fitness and fun, here is a heartwarming story I came across that I had to share! "Mr. Newton" is a yellow lab/retriever mix that works with Adapted PE Teacher Steve Miller in the Orlando, FL area. This canine's job is to help students with special needs to move more, follow directions and feel safer and calmer during the often busy PE sessions. What an inspirational idea and hats off to Steve for finding creative ways to bring movement, motivation and joy to his students!

Check out this heartwarming video clip.  It's guaranteed to bring a smile!  You can also read the full article here.  For more information on Canine Companions for Independence visit their Facebook page.    Enjoy!

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Comment by Marita Burrow on January 31, 2012 at 11:49am

Wonderful article and an indirect resource for our kiddos where the teacher, and not the child, is the therapy dog owner.  I have friends who are blind and have Leader dogs...know of children with exceptionalities who use therapy dogs and several times a year our libraries bring dogs in for our children to read to but I have yet to hear about teachers owning therapy dogs to benefit their children with special needs.  Fantastic idea!

Comment by Cecilia Cruse on January 31, 2012 at 10:01am

Be sure to check out the Canine Companions FB page as listed on my blog. Maybe there is a local program in your area that you could explore?

Good luck with the contest and thanks for participating!

Comment by Joni Rhodes on January 31, 2012 at 2:23am

Would love to find dog that would be my son's protector and pal.  Also that my son would show interest in!  Love what I have seen other dogs do!

Would love to win the sensory game for my son's classroom!

Comment by Cecilia Cruse on January 24, 2012 at 11:37am

Great article with even more references and insights. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Martianne Stanger on January 24, 2012 at 12:21am

This reminds me of a fantastic piece Tiffani put together at OJTA on  the Therepeutic Value of Canines

Comment by Cecilia Cruse on January 23, 2012 at 1:58pm

Thanks for the comments! Best wishes to Beth on her canine project with her kids! Keep us posted on how it goes.

I think this is a win-win program that continues to grow. I have heard of canine companions with our elderly populations in nursing homes etc. as well.

Comment by Tobi Isaacs on January 23, 2012 at 1:40pm

Great blog Cecilia. I love how animals can have such huge impacts on people. Beautiful!

Comment by B. on January 23, 2012 at 12:25pm

I enjoyed watching the short video clip and the teacher's passion with his dog and sharing with the children.  I am raising 2 children with special needs and have a young dog that I have been using therapeutically with my kids and hope to do formal training.


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