It is a well recognised fact that animals have enormous effect on people with disabilities, and vulnerable people in general. Sunshine Butterflies is very excited to deliver an animal assisted therapy program for individuals living with a disability at their 5 acre hobby farm Our Backyard.
Sunshine Butterflies newest therapy animal is Jimmy James, the 4-month old miniature donkey. Jimmy James was very generously donated to the Animal Therapy program through the Dalwood-Wylie Charitable Foundation. Dalwood-Wylie members recognised the research that shows that donkeys in particular are very good with people with Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome affects a child’s speech, balance, posture and interaction with people. Through animal assisted therapy programs children are learning how to be gentle and to stroke and communicate with donkeys. This is a real sensory experience and has proven to have many positive effects on the confidence, happiness and emotional well-being of the individual.
In an Animal Therapy program, individuals can learn to correctly interpret human and animal body language, understand animals cognition and emotions, build confidence, assist with animal enrichment programs, and most importantly benefit from the emotional and psychological benefits of the cohesive bond between human and animal.
Sunshine Butterflies Animal Assisted Therapy Program at Our Backyard not only has a donkey, but 2 goats, chickens, 2 sheep, 2 miniature Dexter cows and
plenty of ducks and ducklings to keep members busy petting, grooming and feeding.
I’ve never understood why some of life’s biggest battles were given to the smallest of children. That was until I met my son, our first child, 17 months ago. Who knew such a tiny creature could have the heart of Phar Lap, the courage of a lion, and the bravery, resilience, and fight...