After nearly three years of negotiation, an Oregon boy with autism is bringing his service dog to school starting this week and the animal’s presence appears to be making a difference.

For years, Jordan “Scooter” Givens’ parents asked that his trained German shepherd, Madison, be allowed to attend school with the boy, 10, to help him remain calm. But the Hillsboro School District, located outside Portland, Ore., refused saying that the dog was unnecessary.

However, when the Justice Department stepped in earlier this year, the school district reversed course and agreed to allow the dog to attend class on a trial basis.

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The trial period began Monday, with the dog accompanying Givens for part of the day. Madison will gradually spend more time at school, eventually staying throughout the day.

Though everything was not perfect on Madison’s first day, Givens’ mother Wendy says the dog was already able to calm her son during frustrating moments simply by nuzzling him, reports The (Portland) Oregonian. To read more click here.

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