Therapy Dogs Visit Arlington Elementary During Autism Awareness Month
By Office of Communication
Posted on May 02, 2016, May 02, 2016

Therapy Dogs

Amy Yancey 's classroom at Dunn Elementary School was filled with smiles and joy when Leroy Brown, an English bulldog, recently stopped by for a visit.

Each year since 2010, Arlington Animal Services Manager Chris Huff and Respect A Bull, Inc., owner Kristie Miller have brought Leroy Brown and another therapy dog to Ms. Yancey 's class to interact with students who are on the autism spectrum.

Students diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder typically experience impairments in three areas. communication, social or work behavior, and imagination or abstract thought. The visit allows the students to work on approaching a dog and skills they learn in the classroom.

"Ms. Yancey is doing an outstanding job each year using the time with the therapy dogs to enhance the skills of her students and we are happy to help,"Miller said, "Leroy Brown is getting older but the time he spends with the students makes him feel youthful again."

Therapy Dogs

Huff and Miller led Leroy Brown into a class of students excited to spend learn. The students sat patiently and repeated key words to Huff as she read them a book about a cat. Each student took their turn as they counted the number of times they petted Leroy Brown. They took turns pointing out the eyes, nose, ears and paws of the dog before saying good-bye to Leroy Brown. Huff provided each student with a toy animal to keep and take home.

"We were glad to see the students happy and excited about their time with Leroy Brown,"Huff said.

Andrew, one of Ms. Yancey 's former students, enjoyed his interaction with Leroy Brown so much that his family held a fundraiser at the school to help him get his own therapy dog. Nora can go to school with Andrew each day to work on behavior disruption, tethering with Andrew, and tracking Andrew.

Andrew 's mother Jill Sapp said she was thankful that the community rallied together to help her son have a therapy dog to help him as well as the family.

To obtain more information on pet therapy in Arlington, please contact Chris Huff at 817-459-6269. Arlington Animal Services is located at 1000 SE Green Oaks Blvd.

Therapy Dogs

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