Floyd and Burleigh Heads State School

Floyd the Educational Support Dog is the talk of the town at Burleigh Heads, and has certainly made an impression on the children and staff at Burleigh Heads State School.

Floyd spends 2 to 3 days a week in the Early Childhood Development Program, and spends weekends and evenings at home with teacher Jay Ohmsen.

“After 34 years of teaching in the area of Special Education, Floyd has given a renewed purpose and focus as to how dogs can be used in an educational setting, particularly in the area of special needs.” said Jay.

“We have seen the joy he brings to young children’s emotional wellbeing and seen them benefit from the teaching strategies he allows us to employ. (modelling of non verbal communication/signs/signals he uses) We have seen young children with autism identify and relate to him and benefit from his non judgmental manner, calmness and presence.”

“Floyd is gentle, caring and accepting, and just perfect for our school! When wearing his jacket/lead, multiple children may experience the joy of walking with him.  Some of the children can be anxious and upset, Floyd will sit calmly beside them.  Floyd is used to ‘model and demonstrate’ routine activities such as – going to group, sitting, waiting, sharing and responding. He will demonstrate an understanding of many non verbal signs/cues, a particularly useful strategy for working with non verbal children.”

“All the children on the campus know Floyd, whether they have a direct involvement with him or not.  They love to see him at school and will always ask “Is Floyd here today? Can we pat him?” Some teachers have used him to motivate and encourage the children as part of their behaviour management strategy! Discussions and interactions with Floyd often result in increased language and decreased anxiety around social situations.”

It costs over $60,000 to train and place an Assistance Dog.

Your donation helps covers training, vaccinations, food and equipment for an Assistance Dog, who is given to a client free of charge.

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