Luna’s top dog for school’s autis­tic chil­dren

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Health -

A DOG is soon to be an un­likely new class­mate for pupils at a pri­mary school.

One-year-old Luna, right, will be sup­port­ing chil­dren with autism, which af­fects so­cial in­ter­ac­tions, at Redriff Pri­mary School City of Lon­don Acad­emy in South-East Lon­don.

Luna, right, a golden re­triever poo­dle cross, will be­come the school’s first ther­apy dog when she joins af­ter com­plet­ing her train­ing with a char­ity that spe­cialises in train­ing dogs to work in schools.

Jack Gibbs, Luna’s owner and as­sis­tant head­teacher at the school, said: ‘We hope that Luna is able to be a lov­ing com­pan­ion for the chil­dren and en­cour­age them emo­tion­ally, phys­i­cally and so­cially.

‘She will help the chil­dren reach their full po­ten­tial.’

The school, which is ac­cred­ited by the Na­tional Autis­tic So­ci­ety, has an in­te­grated unit called ‘the boathouse’ with 14 places for chil­dren with spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion needs.

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