Another reason to love dogs – therapy dogs help special ed kids deal with anxiety and stress
Cali, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, is a cortisol detection dog working at Calais School, a special education school in Whippany, N.J. A service dog trained to detect cortisol – the stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands when a person becomes agitated, stressed or anxious – Cali lets her handler know when a distressed student needs special attention. A few moments with Cali and her handler calms the student down and helps them refocus on learning. The Calais School is becoming a recognized leader in using service dogs in an educational setting for students with multiple learning disabilities. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, service dogs in schools can help students by improving their social skills, motivating them, helping with language development, and enhancing their feeling of safely and well-being.