Bouncy the Helper Dog

Bouncy is an animatronic plush service dog created by ripple effects. It is used to help students in classrooms learn skills to help with focus, feel safe, and strong. This is done through songs, stories and other activities. By the touch of his red heart, Bouncy will breathe at a pediatric rate and children are taught to hold him to their heart so they can mimic his breathing. My school introduced Bouncy to our students shortly after Halloween. The students in my class love Bouncy and the songs he sings for them. A few of my students love holding him and breathing with him. He is even starting to help them calm down during moments of frustration. One student comes in every morning and greets Bouncy with a big smile. 

Bouncy is not only part of my classroom, he has become a part of my home. As most of my followers know, Alyssa, has anxiety, sensory processing disorder and severe food and environmental allergies. This fall, she struggled greatly transitioning into first grade. Behaviors were seen both in and out of school. Once Bouncy was introduced to my classroom, I decided to introduce him to Alyssa at home. The day I brought him home, Alyssa had a severe anxiety attack at a restaurant. She had to leave the restaurant to take a break in the car. Bouncy was in the car since I brought him home from school. I gave him to her, pressed Bouncy’s heart and she held him to her chest. Within seconds, as her breath calmed down to reach the same pace as Bouncy’s, you can visibly notice her body relaxing.  

Since that evening, Alyssa has asked me to bring Bouncy home from school every night. He spends evenings and weekends at home with us. He sleeps with her at night. He has become a part of our family. She adopted one of the plush dogs that the program offers and named her Bounce. Bouncy has gone to family events, outings and park district activities. Whenever she feels anxious she knows she just has to press his heart. Bouncy has not only decreased the length of her anxiety attacks but the frequency of them too. 

I have caught her a few times explaining to those who don’t know who Bouncy is, a little about him. Alyssa calls Bouncy her helper dog. Her sister who has severe autism is still warming up to Bouncy, but Alyssa is helping with that process.

I love how she has grown attached to him. Alyssa loves dogs but unfortunately, with her severe allergies to animals (including their saliva) a service dog is not a possibility for our family at this point. But in all actuality she now does have a service dog. His name is Bouncy.

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