Bringing autism service dog to school

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Should I bring Latte on the first day of school?
Yes 83%  83%  [ 19 ]
No 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 23

teksla
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26 Jul 2018, 4:22 pm

I am preparing myself for the school year which starts in about 3 weeks. I am putting extra time thinking about how I can make it easier for me to deal with unexpected situations and days that do not stick to the usual schedule.

Some days, I bring my service dog, Latte, with me to school.

I do not typically bring him to school as the level of anxiety I feel on a daily basis is not bad enough where I would benefit "enough" to feel that it's worth bringing him to school.

Although I have a legal right to bring him to school whenever I want to (feel I need to), I always inform the principal/teachers beforehand so they can make appropriate adjustments (for example ramp up the cleaning to prevent excess dander and dog hair causing an allergic reaction for someone).

I am currently debating whether I will need him on the first day of school or not. I will make a pros and cons list:

+I will be much calmer during the day
+I will not feel as stressed out from not knowing when, where and with who things are happening
+If I start feeling overwhelmed i can have him do DPT (deep pressure therapy) to deescalate the situation
+I will have an excuse to take a walk during recess and be alone and decompress

-I will need to inform the principal in advance and may need to "fight" for my right to have him with me
-It will draw (unwanted) attention to me from the new students
-It will most likely warrant questions about why I get to have him with me and what disability I have (or "what's wrong with [my name]")

This post is made so that I can write down the good and the bad regarding bringing him to school but also to hear other peoples' opinions on whether you think it's a good idea to bring him or not.

I highly appreciate all suggestions/thoughts!


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Twilightprincess
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26 Jul 2018, 4:28 pm

I have a service dog and would take her to class if I was in school.

Does your dog have a service vest? It might help to have a patch that says Do Not Pet if the vest doesn’t say that already. It’s helped me out quite a bit although some people still ask.

The school shouldn’t give you any trouble. They could get into a lot of trouble for doing so. Also, it’s against the law for someone to ask you what your disability is.



teksla
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26 Jul 2018, 4:44 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
I have a service dog and would take her to class if I was in school.

Does your dog have a service vest? It might help to have a patch that says Do Not Pet if the vest doesn’t say that already. It’s helped me out quite a bit although some people still ask.

The school shouldn’t give you any trouble. They could get into a lot of trouble for doing so. Also, it’s against the law for someone to ask you what your disability is.


Yes, he has a vest. Where I live a service dog MUST have a vest/harness with appropriate symbols/text so that it is clear to everyone that the dog is a service dog and on duty.

I have a patch that says "SERVICE DOG - DO NOT PET" with a hand with a red line over it.


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Twilightprincess
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26 Jul 2018, 4:49 pm

teksla wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
I have a service dog and would take her to class if I was in school.

Does your dog have a service vest? It might help to have a patch that says Do Not Pet if the vest doesn’t say that already. It’s helped me out quite a bit although some people still ask.

The school shouldn’t give you any trouble. They could get into a lot of trouble for doing so. Also, it’s against the law for someone to ask you what your disability is.


Yes, he has a vest. Where I live a service dog MUST have a vest/harness with appropriate symbols/text so that it is clear to everyone that the dog is a service dog and on duty.

I have a patch that says "SERVICE DOG - DO NOT PET" with a hand with a red line over it.


Great!

I personally find DPT very calming. Having a service dog helps a lot!



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26 Jul 2018, 7:11 pm

I'm inclined to say bring the dog the first day but notify the school in advance. The reason to bring him is the first day might be extra stressful for you.

You have taken the dog in the past so at least some of the other students know about him. You might ask the school to send a letter to all the people in your class to let them know this is an accepted practice and that they shouldn't try to play with the dog. They should get this letter before the first day.

However, all this advice might differ based on your age or the type of school or class you have. Do you feel comfortable sharing that?


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teksla
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27 Jul 2018, 3:47 pm

BeaArthur wrote:
I'm inclined to say bring the dog the first day but notify the school in advance. The reason to bring him is the first day might be extra stressful for you.

You have taken the dog in the past so at least some of the other students know about him. You might ask the school to send a letter to all the people in your class to let them know this is an accepted practice and that they shouldn't try to play with the dog. They should get this letter before the first day.

However, all this advice might differ based on your age or the type of school or class you have. Do you feel comfortable sharing that?



I have thought about this more and spoken about it at home.

If I bring him I will notify the school in advance. I am not required to do so but i feel that it is common curtesy.

I do not like the idea of a letter but maybe a teacher could bring it up on a morning assembly?


Either way, I am still not decided but currently leaning towards bringing him.


Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond and let me know their thoughts!


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Arganger
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28 Jul 2018, 8:05 am

I bring Asher to school.
And the first day is extra hard. So it seems like a good preparation to take your dog.


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RichardJ
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31 Jul 2018, 3:05 am

If you have the ability to do as such, I vote yes.


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xatrix26
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31 Jul 2018, 6:56 am

No more hiding! If you need to bring Latte with you to school then don't be afraid and take him/her with you everyday! I have to admit that I'm quite envious of you for having an Autism service dog, this is something I would kill for (metaphorically speaking of course).

:D


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skibum
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31 Jul 2018, 4:25 pm

I wish I could have an Autism service dog. I say definitely bring Latte to school on the first day. And I love his name. :D
Bringing him on the first day is not only going to help you but it will set the tone and expectation for the other students as well. I think it will be good for them also. I say absolutely bring him.


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teksla
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07 Aug 2018, 10:37 am

Hello

Thank you to everyone for your replies and votes. I have decided to bring him with me on the first day of school.


I will inform the school in advance my email.

As for the people who said they are envious of me having an autism service dog:
I trained him myself, which just about anyone with a young enough dog and knowledge about dogs can do. (make sure that your local laws allow owner-trained service dogs).

He helps me a lot.


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teksla
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09 Aug 2018, 3:03 pm

I have now written and sent the email to my principal - who is working tomorrow (a few days before school starts).

When I took Latte to the last day (not in school, a separate building) she told me that I couldnt bring him due to other people's possible allergies (which according to law is illegal. She cannot deny me access due to allergies).

So I am worried about what she will say, even though I am in the legal right.


I made sure to quote the law in my message and copy-paste the laws and the interpretation of it from the guide dog foundation.


I have informed her that I am bringing him along for the first week.


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Serpentine
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09 Aug 2018, 7:51 pm

Sure. That's exactly what he's there for. In fact, bring him every day. People will get used to him so it's no big deal anymore, and you won't have to worry about notifying anyone when you bring him. Plus he'll be there if you unexpectedly need him and I bet it will make him happy too.


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10 Aug 2018, 12:15 pm

I think it's nice and I think other people will like it as well (poll would seem to agree with that). I think some other children might feel a little jealous because you have a dog and therefore more attention than them. But there's no need to be jealous of a really difficult condition like autism. You may find that this school is more supportive than the last one (fingers-crossed).



teksla
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13 Aug 2018, 8:04 am

Update:

I have gotten confirmation from my principal okay:ing me to bring him for the first week.

We have been training a bit for the last couple of days.

I sent a whatsapp message to everyone in my year letting them know that he will be at school and not to bother him when he is working (vest on) and that they are more than welcome to say hi to him during the lunch break when he will not be working (vest off).


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beady
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13 Aug 2018, 8:30 am

Congratulations on doing what you need to do to succeed. I think you were smart to ask for the whole week. By the end of the week everyone will be getting past the start up jitters and settling into a routine. It might be helpful to mention that he won't always be with you to save yourself from too much questioning when he is absent but seems like you are already well prepared for those hurdles. Good luck with your studies in the coming year!