Hello, my name is Jennifer O’Rourke, I am a special education teacher at Salisbury Elementary School in the town of Salisbury, Massachusetts. The students in my program have significant social and emotional needs and some have experienced trauma and lived in poverty during their young lives. Students with Autism, a history of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and various other social emotional challenges are in need of the comfort and reassurance that a therapy dog can provide. A therapy dog could help de-escalate an agitated child, encourage a disinterested child to come to school, be an audience for a hesitant reader, be an ear to a child who needs to talk or be the inspiration for many writing projects. The possibilities are endless! It is our hope that our therapy dog can be a part of the children’s lives at SES throughout their elementary school career. I am thrilled to say that I work in a school community that supports this type of, “out of the box” thinking to meet the needs of our student population. I am honored to be accepted for the therapy dog program at NEADS, Inc. Lastly, I am also a wife to my husband Terrence and a mother of two wonderful young children who look forward to welcoming our new canine family member.