Thursday, June 18, 2009

Graduation 1 & 2

Graduation is going really well! Veda and Xerxes are starting the long process of bonding with their new families.
Xerxes
Veda is with a family, who child is has higher functioning autism, meaning he can talk, and do most things normal kids can do. He loves his new buddy very much!

Xerxes new friend, is on the other end of the autism spectrum, and can't speak or communicate much, but already his parents are seeing improvements in his behavior!

Day 1
We introduce everyone, get all paperwork taken care of, and go over the basic of how we introduce the dogs to everyone.

Then a staff member will bring the dogs in, and let them run around and interact with the kids. Chaos!!

We staff members are not allowed to interact much with the dogs, because (as I'm sure you can see) it would be very confusing for them.

Once we kind of get things settled back down, our President commences the lectures, and then its lunch time!! This graduation, we had lunch delivered, instead of taking the group out on the first day.

After lunch some trainers took the parents, and worked on their leash handling skills, while others of us, were in charge of helping the other parent monitor the kids.
Veda and his family
It was around the high 80's and HUMID like you wouldn't believe. So we cut that days session short, and sent families and dogs back to their homes/hotel.

Today

I got to skip the lecture this morning, so when I arrived they were already heading out for lunch. One of the families hadn't been able to take their child out for several years, and were quite nervous about going to a sit down restaurant.

So this was going to be an adventure. And did have some success!!

But it was in Target where this family had the greatest success...only on the 2nd day we were able to go into the store, walk through it, and not have a major meltdown at all!

I was close to tears, watching Mom tell Xerxes how she didn't know how they'd gotten along without him.
Family working Xerxes
After that we took the dogs and kids to the park, to let them run off some steam, barely leaving before a severe thunderstorm hit.
Veda and Xerxes playing
I am so proud of Veda, he has come a long way since arriving at my home in April, I'm sure he'll be a major benefit to this family.

That's my boy!!! :D

Erin

4 comments:

D0gl0v3r said...

Congrats!

StellaStar said...

Yay, doggies! It's so amazing how therapeutic animals are. Good work!

Sarah, Tara, Annie, Sammy, and JD said...

It is interesting to see how other schools and other programs introduce dogs to students. He looks really happy and you did a great job with him!

Sarah, Tara, Annie, Sammy, and said...

It is interesting to see how other schools and other programs introduce dogs to students. He looks really happy and you did a great job with him!