Let's hear from Jessica White, our Lead Speech and Language Therapist at Olsen House School in Liverpool about their new arrival.
"Toto is a 14-week-old Cavapoo. He currently sleeps a lot of the time but when awake is very friendly, playful and busy. He is happiest with people, and he loves attention from both adults and young children alike.
Toto will be in school and will, in the future, be working with myself (Lead) and the Pastoral Team (Handlers) to support our children in various areas. Research has found that simply the presence of a Therapy dog in the classroom has a calming and soothing effect on children, reducing blood pressure, anxiety, stress, fatigue and depression, as well as providing emotional support and promoting physical healing which helps develop trust, confidence and empathy.
In order to train as an effective Animal Assisted Therapy Dog, Toto has to have a period of socialisation which means staff and children will be able to visit him in a controlled manner. This is to ensure Toto is confident working with our children and is used to the busy sights and sounds of the school.
All risk assessments and relevant paperwork are complete and in place. Toto is currently enrolled in his training programmes and when complete Toto will be qualified to support our children in a range of areas such as reading, social communication and emotional wellbeing.
Toto has settled in very well to Olsen House already, and he is greatly popular with both our children and staff! We have already noticed the positive impact he is having on our children, seeing more smiles and laughter throughout the school. He has also helped a few of our children regulate their emotions appropriately by being a calming influence in their environment. The potential for future success is encouraging, and we are sure Toto is going to be a much-valued member of our Therapy team here at Olsen House."
Thanks Jessica, we look forward to hearing more and more about Toto and his journey at Olsen.