Alpaca therapy program gets spectacular results

Education HQ    
By: Sarah Duggan
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Education HQ.
 
Graham Maskiell thinks he might be onto something quite revelationary for special education. And it has nothing to do with speech therapy sessions, targeted language programs or dimmed classrooms stripped of anxiety-provoking props.

Rather, his excitement involves a squad of long-necked, fleecy animals.

Alpacas, to be precise.

The devoted educator from Gin Gin State High School, west of Bundaberg in rural Queensland, has launched an alpaca therapy program that is working magic on children who present with an eclectic gamut of special needs.

“In 2017 I looked at the cohort coming through, there was a wide range of disability, two non-verbal, autistic Year 7 boys … some more on the Aspergers end of the spectrum and some with ADHD,” Maskiell recalls.

Intent on finding a way to reduce the students’ heightened levels of anxiety, Maskiell went out on a limb and linked up with a local stud farmer to see if her brood of alpacas could assist. 

Read the rest of this story at Education HQ.