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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Bubba, the 195-pound therapy alligator, made a special visit to the Gulf Coast School for Autism.

Bubba, the 195-pound alligator, helps kids with autism learn with a hands-on experience. (Source: WJHG/WECP)

The alligator plays a major role in the kids’ science program. The kids get to pet Bubba, providing them with a hands-on experience, which builds on what they’re already learning in the classroom.

“It’s really important for these kids because they’re such visual learners to have that visual aspect. They get to see it live in person which is really neat,” Gulf Coast School for Autism assistant director Kuryn Patterson said.

Bubba’s handler, David Dawe, said every part of Bubba feels different so it provides an enriching experience for the kids.

“A lot of times, special needs children don’t get the same tactile experience from touching toys or other things, than they do a live animal. So, they get the energetic feedback from his body, they get an actual soothing mechanism from him,” Dawe said.

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