Meet Milo, the therapy dog at Sir Thomas Hickman School who understands sign language!

Thomas Hickman School, in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, have recruited a new addition to their Thomas Hickman family – Milo, the therapy dog!

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:32 pm

Rabbits and guinea pigs roam around the Reception year’s area but the pupils asked to have a ‘whole school pet’ they could all engage and play with.

So, Milo has been appointed to work alongside pupils and staff and has settled beautifully into his new role.

Milo’s role, as a ‘whole school pet’, is to provide an incentive and reward for pupils, for example, those children demonstrating the school’s values may get the opportunity to walk Milo around the main playground.

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However, his main duty is to provide therapeutic support and aid to all pupils within the school, promoting a sense of well-being and responsibility.

Milo has already had a calming influence on children helping them to manage their behaviour.

He even understands Makaton sign language and will listen to children read to him!

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate.

It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

Indeed, pupils who are hesitant to read to adults have thoroughly enjoyed the experience as MILO provides both non-verbal and non-judgemental support.

Milo works closely with Abi Manly, School Therapist and Wellbeing Lead, at Thomas Hickman School.

Abi said: “The arrival of Milo has been a breath of fresh air for the school. His warmth and unconditional love is contagious”.