Kahlon Family Services > Uncategorized > Animals & Autism – Part 2 – Buttercup

Animals & Autism – Part 2 – Buttercup

Lois & Buttercup
Lois & Buttercup
For part 2 of our series on Animals & Autism, we were lucky enough to have interviewed renowned Speech-Language Pathologist, Lois Brady, about her experiences in Animal Assisted therapy with her pig, Buttercup. 

Tell us a bit about how you met your pig, Buttercup. 
Because Buttercup has to travel with me, he has to be a true miniature potbelly pig.  I searched the internet for reputable breeders and flew him to California from Texas. He was a hit from the time we picked him up from the airport.

How have you seen Buttercup impact children with Autism?
Many students are naturally drawn to animals. Some students with autism may have had a bad experience with a dog/cat (barking, scratching or jumping).  Because Buttercup is so unusual he draws their attention immediately and they have no preconceived notions or bad experiences students approach him and interact with him freely.   Many of my students ask for Buttercup and talk about him daily.  They remember his last visit, next visit, what he eats, where he lives, etc.

Have you seen changes in Buttercup since he started to work with you?
Buttercup has worked with children since he was 4 weeks old. His demeanor is the same in a quiet or noisy environment. He has always been a “rock.”

What does Buttercup like to do in his time off?
Buttercup loves to sleep, lay in the sun, root, eat (of course) and sit by the fireplace on a cold day.

What is one of your favorite ‘Buttercup Stories’?
My favorite story – Buttercup was visiting my high school Asperger’s classroom.  Many of the students have difficulty making new friends, especially friends of the opposite sex.  On this particular day I encouraged one young man (Isaac) to take buttercup for a walk during passing period.  He was immediately surrounded by students (mostly girls) asking lots of questions.  Isaac had no choice but to talk to the girls and answer questions about Buttercup.  He made two new “girl” friends that day.

For more information about Lois and Buttercup, check out this article from Reader’s Digest and the Proactive Speech Therapy Website.

If you are interested in how we use animals in our sessions at Kahlon Family Services, please contact us on info@kahlonfamilyservices.com

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