Nursery Road School and Wicket’s story

Wicket is a two year old black Labrador who spends his days in Nursery Road State School near Brisbane. With up to 135 students with a wide range of physical and developmental disabilities, Wicket has a big job to do. As an Educational Support Dog, he supports children and staff on a daily basis.

“Wicket is a wonderful asset for the school, he is very placid and no matter what activities or movements are happening in the class Wicket stays on task and waits direction to the next activity.” Said Wendy, from Nursery Road School.

Two mornings a week Wicket spends one-on-one time with students for a literacy session, as well as group sessions where the students read to him. Having a four-legged friend has helped improve communication skills for many students including, “greatly increasing their vocalisations to ‘call’ Wicket to come over.” said Wendy.

Being a highly skilled Assistance Dog, Wicket is able to return the favour and read to the children in class, by pressing the mouse to change the picture on the interactive whiteboard!

Since Wicket joined the school in August, he has had a noticeable impact on the students.

“We have seen some great advances with students that were reluctant to pat him or scared of him and through a process of familiarisation they are confident to be close or touch him.”

“A student reached their goal to self-propel their wheelchair down the corridor, when patting Wicket was the reward.” Said Wendy.

“Also, to encourage a student to walk (in her Pacer) down the corridor, Wicket would walk with her.”

“He is very patient with the students especially where their physical impairments limit their mobility or movement and it takes them longer to complete an action like giving a treat or reaching to pat him.”

“Students who are distressed immediately calm when Wicket enters the room, and we have had great success for a student to stay on task for an entire day when his motivator was a one- on-one play session with Wicket.”

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

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

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