Raising Chickens and Special Needs Kids

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Blooie, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Amen! We had custody of two of our grandkids. Jamie we had off and on since he was two, and then full custody starting at 11. His sister, Little Diane, was 6 when we took the kids. They had different dads. Our daughter loves her kids, but has suffered most of her life with Borderline Personality Disorder, a nasty condition I wouldn't wish on anyone!

    Anyway, I remember saying more than once, "I hope we're doing the right thing - we won't know for years if we did!" Didn't take that long. Jamie followed in his grampa's footsteps and became a nuclear reactor operator on a submarine. He married his lovely wife Rachel. They have two little ones, our great grandkids Landyn Kenneth (named after Grampa), and Madelyn Grace (named after my beloved grandmother). Little Diane just got married in September back in South Dakota, where she's from and where she went back to live with her dad when she was 10. She had her grampa walk her down the aisle along with her dad. She said, "Dad gave me life, but Grampa gave me hope AND a life." Little Diane and her husband will be flying out this weekend. She comes "home" every year, and she does call this old place "home", as does her brother! So yep, it might not seem like it at the time, but what we do to repair those fragile lives matters very much later on!
     
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  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    My little brother likes to sit out with them and speak to them, but he has no interest in caring for them. His favorite is my massive black australorp rooster.
     
  3. heatherfeilner

    heatherfeilner Out Of The Brooder

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    My Two year old son Is mildly autistic and he and I have just started our chicken endeavor. I'm hoping he will enjoy the routine of caring for the chickens and to give him a little responsibility. I don't expect much from him this young, but he finds them entertaining and that's enough. I've been calling them the "therapy chickens" [​IMG]
    My niece is thrilled that I got chickens and often gives me her four-year-old advice (she's very worried about raccoons getting the flock).
    I'm happy to have this experience with the kids and hope they continue to enjoy it. [​IMG]
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC and the wonderful world of chickens! If your son is like our granddaughter, he will want to do things in a specific order when he gets a little bigger.

    She sits down on the deck and changes into her coop shoes, then grabs her basket and heads out. She likes to check the all of the chickens first thing, looking for limps or lethargy or anything like that. Then step two is making sure the feeder is full. Immediately after that she lifts the lid on the water bucket. If the level is even with the middle of the label on the bucket, it's time to dump it and add fresh. The very next step is cleaning the poop board. She starts at the left side and works her way down. Then she sets her tools down and checks the nests for eggs - again, same order, same nest first, every time. She very carefully locks the coop behind her. Her next step in the routine is to put her egg basket on the deck steps, sit next to it to change out of her coop shoes, then she brings the eggs into the house and puts them in cartons and into the fridge. Lastly her hands get washed. But you know what? She can be trusted completely to take care of the chickens when I'm gone and I know she enjoys it because it's structured, and she likes that. And it took her no time at all to learn it all - she doesn't even think about it now. She sure enjoys watching them. She likes to come over and sit in a lawn chair, visiting with Grampa and me while the chickens are out foraging.

    I would suggest finding a job he can do - any little job even if it's carrying an egg basket out to the coop for you when you go out. Ask him to find the "yellow chicken", then the brown ones, etc. Show him which is which. He'll start observing them without even realizing it. Your kids sound very lucky to have a mom/aunt who "gets it" and wants them to take an active part in the joys - and responsibilities - of taking care of chickens. One of the sneaky problems with autism, even mild, is the difficulty in teaching them empathy for others. The chickens are a great way to start. "Do you think she looks sad today, or happy?" "Why do you think she's so happy?" You got this, Mom!!
     
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  5. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    Found you. :) I sent you photos of Richard when he was young, here he is getting older..our son with Spina Bifida. Will post photos every few days.
    Had him in 1981. He lives on his own now.

    Maybe I'll throw a couple in here from the beginning.
    Primary Children's Hospital...love them!

    [​IMG]
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    Look mom, worms!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Went on a Make A Wish trip..Disney World..up front in the cocpit
    with the pilots. :)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Richard looks like he was a real spitfire when he was a toddler! That's good! These kids need that attitude. The tough job is making sure they have enough attitude to bump them over hurdles but not so much that they become "that obnoxious handicapped kid down the street." Got your PM and last night when I got back to the computer I sat down to reply. I lost it. All of it. Photos and all. I hate this computer and I detest Windows 10! When I put Kendra down for her nap this afternoon I'll try to reconstruct it. Yesterday was a bad day all around. The kids decided haircuts were in order for Kendra and Katie. Um, yeah. I kept my lips zipped because I ain't the Mom, but I so didn't want them to cut off Kendra's hair. I tried hard to be supportive and enthusiastic, but when Jenny came in to show me Kendra's hair I burst into tears. I didn't mean to - but I've been doing her hair almost every morning for 4 years.

    We've got physical therapy today. Miss Cindi is sure going to be surprised! We do physical, speech, and occupational therapies here because this is where Kendra is most of the time. It was the same way when Katie was getting her therapies. Jenny drops off her iPad when she drops Kendra off and if we are covering any new material or if Kendra does something she's never done before I video it for Jenny. That way we are always on the same page and I don't have to try to explain something that would be easier to show her.

    Off to further peruse the forum while Kendra is eating her breakfast. Glad you found this place. I'll PM you as soon as I can.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Kwren: Your story about your grandson was riveting! Thank you so very much for sharing it. Thanks also for being there for him when he needed you. You are truly blessed to be gifted with such a boy to watch over. You may never know how your care and attention blessed him, but rest assured that it did!
     
  8. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Richard with Lindsey Sterling..he does a lot of youtube things
    for her.
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    [​IMG]
    He does a lot of youtube stuff.
    [​IMG] Richard and his little brother, our youngest.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
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  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    We had a blast with Kendra a few days ago. She and I had been practicing this for some time, but it was the first time her physical therapist had seen her do this. Between school resuming, Ken and I being out of town, and Miss Cindi's schedule we hadn't hooked up for a session in a while. But Kendra and I faithfully practiced every day, and it paid off wonderfully.

    Miss Cindi was over for a therapy session and I suggested we take Kendra's walker outside where there was more room. I was just hoping that Kendra would cooperate. She did! Of course I forgot the camera and had to run in and get it so I missed getting Cindi's initial reaction, but by the time I got back from getting it she'd taken over and, true professional that she is, she just continued right where we had been when I ran into the house. Kendra is the first and only child with Spina Bifida who Miss Cindi has ever worked with and she is awesome - following our lead and respecting our instincts when that's appropriate and inventing methods when none of us are sure what to do next. She has no problem saying, "I'm not sure how we're going to do this - let me do some research and some inventing and see what we can come up with to get it done." But the most important thing about her is that she loves Kendra as much as we do.

    We were encouraging Kendra to stomp in the water puddles on the sidewalk. She didn't stomp herself but seemed to get a kick out of me doing it. So enjoy Kendra's first time walking outside - well, aside from the jaunt from the car into the school - and please note Kendra's giant smile! I could watch this over and over again!

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015

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