Autistic Boy Denied Service Dog in School

Autistic Service Dog

Sean Forsyth, is 8 years old and attend 2nd grade at Wexford Elementary School in Pittsburg. He is not like other children his age though. He has been diagnosed with Autism. To help him cope in the world and become more independent he has a service dog that was specially trained to deal with his special needs. According to his mother she says she asked the Pine Richland School District last fall to allow Sean’s service dog Sophia to accompany him to school. That request was denied by the school district.

District spokesman Tony DiTommaso says school officials determined there is no educational need for the dog because the boy is making progress without the dog in school. And they therefore see no need for the dog to be in school with the child.

Sean used to have meltdowns that lasted two or three hours. Now because of the dog, they last 15 minutes. He has been making major improvements both at home and at school since Sophia came to live with the family. She has stopped him from bolting out the door or into traffic and she can sense when Sean’s mood changes and try and stop the negative behavior before it even starts.

Sophia is a specially trained Service Dog that goes to continuing education classes each week. She is fully up to date with her vaccinations and has been trained to be around large groups of people. Sean’s parents believe that if Sophia is allowed to go to school that Sean will progress even more and continue to make progress in school. Under the American’s with Disabilities Act there should not even be a question as to whether Sophia can accompany Sean to school every day. Which is why his parents have appealed the school board decision and hope before the end of the year to have Sophia in school with their son.

Amazon Native Ads – Pet Supplies


  1. from the mom – I don’t understand why anyone tries to fight this – it should not even matter what kind of progress SSean is making in school – IT IS THE LAW! Has the school district even had the faintest thought that Sean just might make more progress in school than he already is, WITH Sophia IN the classroom? NO – their little pea-brain closed minds will not allow such a light-bulb effect thought enter their minds. There is a good chance that even with all of the documentation they insist on having- the ONLY thing that will change their minds will be a court order.
    mom Kim – have multiple disabilities
    member of EEO committee
    MSW with several research papers on the ADA

  2. That is so upsetting. I don’t understand why they won’t allow the dog – you’re right that under the ADA, this shouldn’t even be a question.

  3. There is NO valid reason why Sophia should not be allowed into the school with Sean. There are several court cases that already have shown precedence that the legitimate autism service dogs be allowed into schools.

    Our own daughter is also in second grade and brings her dog to school with her. It was a little tough getting everyone into routines at first, but now it is amazing to watch the magic.

  4. Absolutely terrible. What was the reason that the school wouldn’t allow the dog to accompany Sean? No educational need? If the child is making great progress with the dog, how is that so? Service dogs are allowed by law, so why would the school not uphold that right? They could, at the very least, give it a trial period.


  5. This is so sad – I hate that people can be so nearsighted or whatever else you want to call it. Urgh

  6. My mind is boggled that the school has declined to FOLLOW THE LAW and allow Sophia in school with Sean!! SHAME ON THEM! I agree with a previous commenter–he may be making progress without the dog, but if he’s doing so well with her at home, you’d think he’s make MORE progress if they were to ABIDE BY THE LAW and allow the dog in school.

    I wonder if they’re worried the dog would be a distraction to other students, and that’s the real reason they’ve declined her presence. Either way, it’s a DARN shame!

    I hope the school board overturns the decision and Sean is able to have Sophia with him, and that with her help, he continues to progress and grow.

  7. I sure hope they win. What a shame they have to deal with this. This isn’t some “perk” or “special treatment.” It’s appropriate treatment.

  8. This is absolutely horrible! Why would they deny this? Something needs to be changed if schools are allowing this!

  9. Why do people care if it helps this little boy??? I just don’t get it!

Copyright © 2024 · Two Little Cavaliers · All Rights Reserved · Design By RL Web Designs

%d bloggers like this: