Bundaberg's very own chicken whisperer Summer Farrelly will be showcasing the benefits of animal-assisted learning and therapies at an upcoming national conference.
The Animal Therapies Ltd National – Animals Helping Humans virtual 2022 conference is an annual event highlighting Australia’s animal-assisted services sector, a rapidly growing health support industry that is meeting the many mental and physical health needs of our communities.
Summer will be co-presenting with world-renowned psychologist Professor Tony Attwood as they explore the benefits of animal-assisted learning and therapies for autistic individuals.
The interactive presentation between Summer and Tony will be focused around the Chickens to Love program, which the Bundaberg girl created when she was just 10 years old.
For the past four years, Summer has been sharing her personal autistic insight into the benefits of human and animal connection.
“My connection with animals has given me the strength needed to navigate life as an autistic teen who faces daily challenges of self-harm, anxiety, depression, trauma, and self-regulation,” she said.
“My journey is about understanding myself emotionally through the connection of animals, and more importantly the journey is about learning self-care.”
Summer will be presenting on parts of her Chickens to Love program while Tony will be discussing each section and what makes the program so effective for young autistics.
Summer said attendees could expect to learn about the value of a chicken’s perspective and the enjoyment a chicken flock can bring.
The presentation will be held virtually on February 18 from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
If you or anyone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Professor Tony Attwood is not just a world renowned psychologist but the first person to appreciate autism. We know the story of Hans Asperger and that’s why many of us don’t like the term “Asperger’s”, but Professor Tony Attwood is a man who has decided to take a person’s special autistic interests for the good of humanity.
Summer Farrelly is a great teenager and the program she has devised is well-worthy of the awards it has received. Many of the objectives can be applied to other animals, large and small, such as cats, dogs, horses, just about any.
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