Tracy’s first week of school

Tracy has now been to school with Benjamin for a full week, so I thought should post an update.  (Last week was shorter because of Labor Day.) Overall, Tracy has done great at school and has been very helpful to him.  Tracy accompanies Benjamin on the school bus to and from school and stays with him from class to class, checking things along the way for him to keep him safe. Before school started, when she was getting acclimated to the school building, she alerted to several doorknobs (especially at the entrances of the building) that had nut residue on them. She also alerted to a box of scissors in one room, the underside of a couple of desks (where kids would rest their feet, and thus likely contaminated by residue on shoes), and even the top of one of the desks. Knowing this information has helped us all work on making those kind of places safer for Benjamin so that he doesn’t react from peanut residue somewhere. 

Now that school has started, there are two big things that we know that have been helpful for him – and I’m sure I don’t get all the stories from him.  First, this district allows the students to bring a science textbook home for the year so they don’t have to carry it back and forth. When Benjamin selected his, he asked Tracy to check it.  She alerted – probably because the prior student who had it at home had eaten nuts while studying for science last year. He asked Tracy about another book.  She alerted again.  This happened more than once until she “cleared” a book, which he brought home and has now used and has been fine. 🙂  Second, Tracy has now alerted several times to his locker at school. We are still assessing the cause of this, as it could be a strong smell in a locker next to his, something inadvertently rubbed/bumped on the outside by someone else, or something else.  But he’s been able to thank Tracy, fix the situation, and has been (so far) safe. It’s troubling that she’s alerted more than once to the locker but we know to stay on top of it and we’re all watching it.

Getting Tracy to school has been a real shift in routine for Benjamin, and he’s really stepped up.  Tracy has to get up and really get her day going before she can be at her best for working.  So he’s having to wake up before school every day before 6:00 and taking her on a 20 minute fast walk, and then coming home and getting ready himself before feeding her and getting her out the door for school.  And then, after Tracy works so hard all day at school, she needs more attention again and he’s walking her again every afternoon for 30 minutes right now.  (We’ve decided he’s going to be in even better shape than he already is!)  We’re really proud of the level of responsibility he’s taken to care for Tracy, and she is paying him back by giving him excellent behavior and really good detection work during the day when he needs it most.  He has a level of comfort and peace by knowing where allergens are because of Tracy, and tells us that he loves her very much and that she’s worth all the work because of how much she helps him.

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