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A therapy dog visited students at BOCES' Masera Learning Center in West Islip today.
July 24, 2013 7:47 PM
Bella Bear, a 116 pound Newfoundland therapy dog, spent the day with children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Bella was used to encourage the students to interact and communicate.
Bella's owner is Sharon Cimino, whose 13-year-old daughter, Emily, has autism and is a student at the school. She says that when she has Emily with her, people stop and talk about the dog with her.
Sharon says that when she rescued Bella, she noticed how gentle and protective the dog was.
Alyson Jordan communicates through a device, her aid explains. She is non-verbal, but has a way of understanding of what people are asking her, so she answers through the pictures.
Bella visits the school twice a month.
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