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Farm helped kids in 70s

I read with interest the interview with François Beiger (From cancer patients to troubled teens and prisoners, animal contact always helpsConnexion, June 2017) on the therapeutic use of animals.

In the late seventies I worked in Derbyshire in a residential school for boys with special needs. The school had a small farm with donkeys, pigs, rabbits, sheep and chickens.

All the beneficial effects described by François Beiger were well known to us.However, contrary to his observations we found that autistic children did not show the same responses.

Peter MULLIN, Saône-et-Loire

Editor’s note: The school you describe sounds like paradise and I’m sure the animals’ presence was a huge plus. Our June article was about providing formal training to socio-medical professionals on animal therapy and mediation, which today is a formally recognised discipline involving specific skills which can be taught. That is new to France.

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