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The whole BSL thing doesn't surprise me - but I don't really understand how the school is getting away with their actions. If having a service dog is protected by the ADA then can't the family fight for their rights? I mean, in a more forceful manner then talking with the school? It shouldn't be up to the district specifically when it comes to whether or not they want to accept service dogs in their schools. I also don't get how the school can argue that Heather doesn't need her dog when they have the whole "failed to see she was having seizures" situation previously. Isn't that proof enough that Heather DOES need her dog?

I don't know a lot when it comes to the rules and regulations of service dogs though, so I could be misinformed/missing some of the facts. Those articles were also written kind of weird in some parts but beyond that...I don't really see how the school has an arguable side at all in this case.
 

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i read the whole story and I think it is just sad for a school to discriminate against a life saving dog because of it's breed. Rotties are wonderful, kind, sweet dogs, but the people who are afraid of the breed fail to understand that.:(
 

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Recently on an outing Della did not want Heather to get in the water, pushing her back. An hour later she had a seizure.
Is this stuff about seizure prediction real? What sort of seizures? What do they cue off of? Reliability? How is it certified?

Heather explains Della is nationally certified as a service dog, picking up dropped items, opening doors, trained in search and scent detection. "The most wonderful, extraordinary thing that Della does is something she has never been "trained" to do. Della can detect when I am about to have a seizure"
So if I read this correct the Dog is not certified to try to predict seizures. If not, then by what rationale is the dog allowed in the school? The girl is not vision impaired and can open doors etc.

Its not clear to me solely from the article if this is a bona fide use of a service dog.

And if you support the use of service dogs (which I presume everybody does) then you should oppose the inappropriate use of service dogs as ultimately that undermines the credibility of all of them.

I would have no problem with a seeing eye dog rottie being in my kid's classroom at school for the benefit of a vision impaired classmate. I would have a problem with some kid bringing in a certified service dog of any breed based on some loosey goosey claims of benefits that the dog provides. There are a lot of strange people up there, and somebody has to draw a line somewhere; the school is in the best position to decide.
 

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From what I understand, seizure alerting dogs usually aren't formally trained because the symptoms of oncoming seizures vary from person to person. Instead, they are usually familiar with the owner, and are reactive to subtle changes in their body that precede a seizure. This sounds exactly like the situation being described.

ETA: Ninja'd!
 

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Great link Zim......

"Seizure-alert dogs, save lives". This is what the media would like the general public to believe, and while it makes for a great headline, it also makes for a grave misrepresentation of the truth.The truth is, seizure dogs can not be trained to “alert” a person of an oncoming seizure. Therefore, a seizure dog may be useful in assisting a person during or after a seizure, but is not guaranteed to be able to “alert” a person of an oncoming seizure.
Of the 29 subjects ..... three were reported to also alert their human companion to an impending seizure.
I'm sorry to offend anyone, but these numbers are so small, the underlying mechanisms so poorly understood, the observations so open to different interpretations that it is hard to take this seriously as a bona fide service dog application.

You may as well be saying 'I suffer from migraines but when Fido is with me they're not so bad so I should be allowed to take him anywhere and everywhere'. How can anyone disprove it?
 

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No offense, but I give that the same credibility as all those people who come home, see a pillow or whatever chewed up hours ago, and claim the dog is 'acting guilty'. Often people just see what they want to see.

Help lead the vision impaired - for sure.
Help the physically disabled open doors etc - for sure
Help someone after a seizure - sure, if trained to do specific things.
Predict medical events? I won't believe it based on anecdotes.
 

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Is this stuff about seizure prediction real? What sort of seizures? What do they cue off of? Reliability? How is it certified?




I would have no problem with a seeing eye dog rottie being in my kid's classroom at school for the benefit of a vision impaired classmate. I would have a problem with some kid bringing in a certified service dog of any breed based on some loosey goosey claims of benefits that the dog provides. There are a lot of strange people up there, and somebody has to draw a line somewhere; the school is in the best position to decide.
My understanding is that they have provided the documentation on a few different occasions.
The answer to your first question is YES it is true. Some dogs (not all) can predict on coming seizures. We cannot tell they are coming on ourselves but the dog can. Certification is difficult since the dogs are NOT trained to do this. They just do it. You could have 100 dogs in service dog training and maybe 1 will be able to seizure alert and the others might not be able to.

I worked with a prison service dog program for years and we did have one incident with a local middle school. The vice principal thought the dog would be too distracting to the other children. I had to go talk with him and remind him of the disabled students rights. He said "If she drops a pencil, someone can get it for her." That is not the point though. Service dogs provide independence for the person. They should not have to be constantly asking people for help.

I think discrimination of any kind is shameful. Whether it is because of a breed of dog or a person with special needs. It is wrong and that girls rights ARE being violated. I too would like to see this go to court and continue on until she gets the right answer. Shame on that school.

Oh Peppy. I do agree with the part that you wouldn't like a person bringing in a dog for no reason. I think that would be wrong. If the dog is a certified service dog... there is a reason. It is against that persons rights to be constantly asking about "what is wrong with them, that they need a dog?"
 

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peppy, i sure hope you are never in a position that a service dog would be required....i have watched many trained for different reasons and i will never undermine the validity of what they can do.....and, as mentioned, a dog isn't trained for seizure alert, it's something that the dog has or doesn't....ever see a dog predict the weather? they pick up on the same sort of changes in the human body as they do the changes in the atmosphere....

are there some service dogs that don't need to accompany their owners everywhere? sure, a leader dog could be said to be one of them, after all, there are people to guide that sight impaired person as easily and when in a classroom, what's the dog supposed to do? read what's on the chalkboard? but, IMO, they still have the right to have the freedom of a non impaired person.....

and w/ a seizure dog, wouldn't it be beneficial to have the dog there to tell, not only the owner, but other people of the impending seizure....they even said the teachers didn't even know she was having seizures; real competent teachers, eh? ...if i were a teacher, i'd look at it as an asset.....
 

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My one of my Godmothers GSDs is "trained"..(manly just a natural ability) to alert her when her blood sugar gets too low (hypoglycemia)...she is trained to do the same actions as the dog in the story...she will whine and bump my godmother to "alert" her...so my godmother will go test and take meds or in an emergency drink juice....

This dog has actually saved my godmothers life....as one time she passed out cold (she lives alone)...the dog barked in her face and licked her to wake her up enough to call 911...she is now being trained to go get a bottle of juice that are kept in a special fridge (dorm size) and bring it back

I'm sure to some it sounds like a hoax but I have seen her do it....and see my godmother test her blood and sure enough it will be low....
 

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The thing is..................elementary, middle, and high schools are not places of public accommodation, so technically the ADA does not apply in cases such as these. The above mentioned schools are for the students, teachers and parents---the general public cannot randomly wander about the campus at any given time on a whim. The campuses are closed to non-students, so in the eyes of the law (ADA) they do not have to comply with the public accommodation clause regarding service animals. It is up to the local school district to either allow or disallow a students service animal. Some do and some dont, which just adds to the confusion.
As long as the school allows for some form of reasonable disability accommodation, they are abiding by the letter of the law. A cane for a blind student instead of a Guide dog is acceptable. Yes, the dog is easier to use and can allow for better travel, but the cane being a reasonable accommodation is all that is required in the eyes of the law. Do I agree with it? No. I am just bringing forth the technical aspects of what the law states in regards to service animals in places of public accommodations.

Now, when one gets to universities and colleges, those are considered public accommodations since they allow anyone to apply for and attend classes. Also, since they accept Federal monies, they are required to abide by the ADA.
 

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Certification is NOT REQUIRED FOR SERVICE DOGS UNDER THE ADA. PERIOD. Seizure response and alert dogs are absolutely a legitimate type of service dogs.

HOWEVER, unlike say, a movie theatre or a mall, a school is not a standard place of accomodation. The school may require documentation. They may decide if a service dog (remember, the fact that it's a dog is irrelevant- the dog is a piece of medical equipment) is a 'reasonable accomodation' or if another accomodation (for example, a full time aide) might be more reasonable.

Peppy, your attitude is incredibly ableist. The right of a disabled person to use whatever accomodation is most appropriate is THEIR RIGHT. The fact that YOU think it's faking is just YOUR problem.
 

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My understanding is that they have provided the documentation on a few different occasions.
What documentation? He's not certified to predict seizures and the article does not say that the girl needs him for anything else.

The answer to your first question is YES it is true. Some dogs (not all) can predict on coming seizures. We cannot tell they are coming on ourselves but the dog can.
Any evidence of this (the ability of the dog to predict a seizure)? The epilepsy web site referenced above pretty much implies its a bunch of hype, and you would think they would be pretty motivated to find such dogs, if they existed.

It is wrong and that girls rights ARE being violated.
What rights are being violated if the dog is not serving a bona fide purpose?


Oh Peppy. I do agree with the part that you wouldn't like a person bringing in a dog for no reason. I think that would be wrong. If the dog is a certified service dog... there is a reason. It is against that persons rights to be constantly asking about "what is wrong with them, that they need a dog?"
I don't think its unreasonable that a school ask that people provide a reason why they want or need to bring a service dog with them. It would be nice if everyone was responsible and could be trusted to only use a service dog for bona fide reasons. But owning a service dog does not prove someone is responsible. The school is perfectly within its rights to act as a gatekeeper.

peppy, i sure hope you are never in a position that a service dog would be required....i
I have not said a single word criticizing the use of bona fide service dogs or in any way advocated not accommodating people with special needs.

The only issue I see here is whether or not the dog can predict seizures, and there is precious little evidence that he can. All the stuff about breed discrimination, discrimination against handicapped, ADA, etc sounds like the writer's spin.

Maybe the kid's mom is a nut case, the school knows it, and they don't want the kid's dog in the classroom on some totally contrived story about 'predicting seizures'. Its sort of amusing that they claim the dog can predict the seizure and hour before it happens but the teachers can't even identify it during the seizure itself. We don't have all the facts but the crazy mom scenario sounds more likely that the 'evil school, terrible discrimination' scenario.

Seizure response and alert dogs are absolutely a legitimate type of service dogs.
Show me some solid evidence that a dog can predict a seizure and I'll happily retract everything I have said. Till then I'll believe what the epilepsy people said rather than anecdotes and media hype.

Peppy, your attitude is incredibly ableist. The right of a disabled person to use whatever accomodation is most appropriate is THEIR RIGHT. The fact that YOU think it's faking is just YOUR problem.
Well, I admit I had to look up "ableist" in the dictionary, so you get an "A" for vocabulary. However, you get an "D" for defamation as claiming that I am prejudiced against people with disabilities is an absurd reading of my comments. I am against abusing the service dog concept for non bona fide reasons, an attitude which should be considered to be supportive of disabled people.

Again, the issue here is not whether service dogs are good or whether disabled people be able to use service dogs? We are on common ground there. The issue is, can dogs predict seizures? Well, I appear to be on common ground with the epilepsy people and you guys are on common ground with the National Enquirer.

Only one of us can be ultimately right, but there is no need to accuse anybody of being prejudiced in any respect. I just don't believe for a second that dogs can do what is being claimed, and you have not offered a shred of scientific evidence which supports the claim.
 

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Seizure alert dogs are fairly unusual. However, the vast majority of what gets billed as 'seizure alert' dogs are also trained for one or more tasks that fall under the catagory of seizure response (frequently it's clearing an airway, which yes, dogs can be trianed to do), turning a person on their side after the seizure, or getting help (either via an alert phone or by finding and bringing a person from another room.) Some dogs remove items from around the seizing handler in order to clear an area and make it safe. (No, a dog can't determine 'safe' but a dog can be taught "anything moveable near my handler when she's seizing needs to be pulled away".) Is this dog a valid SD? I have been told by people I trust that yes, this dog IS appropriately behaved and trained. I can't tell you one way or another though, because I have NO real information about the dog.

Certification's not required. (http://www.ada.gov/svcanimb.htm) Schools and businesses may require documentation (it's not like regular public access) but generally, requiring certification has not been upheld. I could get any dog I wanted certified through crap programs like Goldstar and SARA. Schools certify their teams, generally, but some don't use that terminology, because it's NOT required. I don't know of any REPUTABLE school training and placing dogs which are ONLY alert dogs for seizures, but I do know of many who train seizure response dogs. I HAVE known many dogs who DO alert to seizures who began doing it spontaneously, frequently after other types of training (ie response, mobility, etc.) Is it ancedotal evidence? Sure. But technically, gravity's just a theory.
 

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There are even certified service dogs that are for anxiety. Yup, that is right. People have anxiety issues and are allowed to have their dogs there for comfort and relaxation. Whether you believe it or not, it is a fact. I am not sure what type of documented evidence you would consider valid but maybe you should go talk to someone that works with service dogs. Talk to doctors that have recommended them and seen the positive results happening time and time again.

I have worked with service dogs and their recipients. I have seen the good that comes of them being with their people. I cannot even imagine being so heartless and cruel as to deny a disabled child their certified service dog. Just because someones disability is not obvious to the naked eye does not make it any less real or serious. Not all diseases are visible either, doesn't make them any less devastating to live with.
 
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