Chickens and Autism?

merideth

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
9
0
9
near Wichita, Kansas
Good morning from small-town Kansas, USA! In introduction: I'm Merideth. I'm married to Tim, whom I still like more days than I don't :). We have two adult children (boy and girl), a daughter-in-law and 5yo granddaughter, and our "surprise" boy, who just turned 9. I have no chickens as yet, although I've wanted some for years and am now researching in earnest, since our town recently changed our statutes to allow them.

Some background info leading to my chicken ideas: Our boy has Asperger's Syndrome, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our goal for him is the same as for our other children: to raise him to be a happy, productive, independent member of society. It's a little more challenging for him than for the other two. I could write a novel here, but I'll try to condense . . . "normal, easy" life skills take a lot longer to learn and it's very difficult to string individual skills together as part of a whole (and it's sooo easy for us parents to teach all the individual skills while forgetting to tie each into the whole of an independent life). So . . . chickens . . .

I've been wanting to take "keeping chickens" and divide it all up into "lesson modules" spread out over the next year and beyond. Something like: Spring-about chickens as an animal, a food source, their housing/food/play needs. Summer-planning and building a coop and run based on our needs research. Fall-deciding what traits we want in our chickens and breed research, budgeting for supplies, etc. Winter: planning chicken care routines and fitting them into our daily routine, lining up egg "customers" (a neighbor and an aunt), researching local Farmer's Markets, (one "known variable" type of customer - know exactly X eggs delivered every Tuesday; one "unknown variable" type of customer - don't know how many ppl we'll come into contact with or if/how many eggs they'll purchase,etc.). He'll budget his proceeds like we've always done with our children: 50% save, 20% give, 30% he can decide. Spring-buy chickens and begin, with ongoing learning.

My hope is raising chickens will help us help him see individual skills as part of a whole life full of short- and long-term goals and accomplishments, all intertwined. Raising chickens will touch on caring for another being, fine and gross motor skills, planning and organizing, financial skills, health and wellness (ours and theirs), adapting to the unexpected, and on and on.

I realize my plan isn't well organized yet, but that's where BYC comes in. I've already read so much here and I look forward to much more learning. Thank you all for taking time to share your knowledge - hope I'll be able to obtain and share mine soon! :)
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Not sure if you have seen them, but there are a number of threads on using chickens as part of home schooling projects you might like, ie https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/5454/home-schooling-and-raising-chickens
Be sure to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center And it is always fun to check out your state thread for chicken keeping neighbors https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/248925/consolidated-kansas
 

cyndirdh

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
5
0
9
northwest arkansas
hi there! i have the same plan with my 8yr old aspie :) my little boy has been thanking my every day for 2 weeks now, he is so happy about our chicks, he helps feed and water the girls (and hold them a lot haha), and has even helped in building the coop. we are homeschooling in the fall and this will be part our science curriculum among other things. i am already seeing the educational benefits, measuring wood for the coop, how many cups of water and feed fit into a container, temp. control for the babies, the list goes on and on. hands on learning is always best for boys. i know my son will be hyper-focused on chickens now but that's fine by me :) we are having so much fun!!
 

merideth

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
9
0
9
near Wichita, Kansas
nice to meet you, cindyrdh! So glad to know another Aspie is enjoying chickens - I foresee a lot of star wars themed names for our chickens, lol - that is my boy's main special interest: star wars movies, star wars legos, star wars toys, star wars costumes, star wars social stories - I've even started making vinyl stencils to paint custom star wars t-shirts for him, lol. It's surprising how easy it is to incorporate star wars into every learning area! ;)

I'd love to just jump into the chicken plan, but I want to first get buy-in from my hubs that we'll use every bit of it to help improve executive function. I'm afraid to take it on by myself, lol.
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
41,085
62,343
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

Yes, there are a couple members on here that have children with Autism that have had great success with keeping them chickens. You have been given lots of links to read thru. I wish you all the best on this great journey you are on and welcome to our flock!
 

merideth

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
9
0
9
near Wichita, Kansas
Thank you, Twocrows! Is it terrible that I let my boy watch a star wars movie so I could sit here reading all this good stuff in peace? Haha! Soooo much great information!
 

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