NewsDepth Petting Zoo: Dogs Help Students with Autism

Autistic students in Arlington are getting some special help from two furry friends.


"We have two totally unique dogs for two very unique students." "Good girl high five." ASK ANYONE AT DUNN ELEMENTARY IN ARLINGTON ABOUT DENVER AND NORA... "They're precious (giggle)." ...AND THEY'LL TELL YOU JUST HOW SPECIAL THE DOGS REALLY ARE. "It's been exciting. It really is." DENVER, IS 9-YEAR OLD NATE MONTGOMERY'S COMPANION. NORA,LOOKS AFTER 11-YEAR OLD ANDREW SAPP. BOTH BOYS LIVE WITH AUTISM AND DEPEND ON THEIR DOGS FOR THERAPY AND SERVICE. (Carey Montgomery/Mother) "They've bonded. It took a little bit but they really have bonded well." NATE'S MOTHER SAYS WHENEVER HER SON IS ANXIOUS OR UPSET DENVER SOOTHES HIM AND IN TURN THAT'S HELPED WITH HIS SOCIAL SKILLS. "It gives me goose bumps how amazing Denver has been to our family." "Andrew is one of those children who wanders." JILL SAPP'S SON'S NEEDS ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT. FOR HIM... HIS DOG--NORA SERVES AS AN EVER WATCHFUL GUARDIAN. "I can get out in public and I know that Nora can help keep Andrew close to us." AND IN THE CLASSROM BOTH BOYS ARE EXCELLING ACCORDING TO THEIR TEACHERS. THEY SAY  BOTH BOYS ARE INTERACTING MORE WITH STUDENTS AND HAVING LESS EPISODES OF ANXIETY. (Laurie Gober/ Special Ed Teacher) "Is just another trick we can pull out of our bag." ...AND IT'S ALL THANKS TO HAVING THEIR DOGS NEARBY...SOMETHING OTHER STUDENTS AND STAFF ALSO BENEFIT FROM. (Sarah Butts/ Special Ed teacher) "We  have teachers included myself and mrs. Gober who are like I need time with Nora...where's my dog time? I need time with Denver it calms us down to."
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