First grader misses school because officials won’t let him take his service dog

Paris helps 7-year-old Austin deal with seizures and communication problems, but the boy’s school won’t appoint a handler for the animal. (Photo credit: Fox News)

A 7-year-old has missed a month of school because school officials won’t allow him to bring his service dog with him.

Austin Flateau, a first grader at Franklin Davis Thayer Elementary School in Franklin, Massachusetts, suffers from seizures and speech delays. The seizures and oral communication get worse when he gets frustrated.

The solution came in the form of a Golden Retrievernamed Paris. Austin got Paris in October right after his mom raised $15,000 to pay for the dog’s training. Paris helps Austin calm down when he tries to speak. Paris also sniffs out seizures before they occur.

Paris is a medical seizure alert service dog. She can smell the chemical change in Austin before a seizure is about to occur.

Austin’s doctors believe that Paris needs to be at Austin’s side at all times. When Paris senses a seizure is about to occur, she nuzzles up to Austin, tickles him in such a way that he starts laughing, which diverts the seizures.

School administrators say they don’t want to appoint a handler to work with Paris, so for the past month, Austin has missed school.

Austin’s mom, Ericha Flateau, told Fox News, “For whatever reason, the school district will not allow any school staff to be the dog’s handler. I cannot afford to hire a third-party dog handler, and I also can’t afford not to go to work myself.”

Austin’s mom is hoping that she and the school district will work on a solution.

Sources: Fox News