Our entire school is for students with moderate to severe disabilities who need life-skills based instruction. Our school has eighty students; most students have cognitive and social skills that range from those of an eighteen-month-old to those of a five-year-old. The goal of our program is to provide life-skills based instruction so students can live as independently as possible in the future.
Our students come from throughout the district and were placed in this setting based on their significant special needs.
We spend most of our class time developing self-care skills, in addition to basic reading and math skills. We also take trips into the community so students can practice social skills.
My students need to feel safe in all of the environments they access at school and in the community. When my students are upset or confused, they can cry, attempt to run from staff, or attempt to hit others. We employ a variety of calming techniques and students have really enjoyed when they have access to animals.
Due to allergies and school limitations, we are unable to have a real therapy dog.
The robotic dog requested has a heartbeat sound, realistic movements and sounds, and responds to touch and speech from students. I plan on having students take ownership of the 'class pet' by caring for it, although the main purpose will be to calm students and allow them to feel safe when we are at school and on our weekly trips into the community.
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