My name is Joanne Beaudry, a Speech/Language Pathologist at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, MA. I am working with classrooms of students on the Autism Spectrum; most have been diagnosed with Asperger's or PDD-NOS . Many of the students have co-morbid diagnosis' of severe anxiety, severe depression, ADHD, and communication disorders. With these secondary diagnosis, their behaviors make it extremely difficult to express their feelings as well as communicate and socialize with peers, and adults in their environment.
We are looking for a classroom dog to facilitate with these behaviors in hopes that the dog will assist them in improving their ability to express their feelings, and helping them to communicate and connect with the dog, when they cannot express themselves to peers or adults.
This is my wish for the students in the class, that they will develop better communication, to be able to begin expressing their feelings and making a connection with the dog, when they are unable to connect with individuals in the high school setting.
Thank you very much. Joanne Beaudry