Emma’s fostering blog
Achieving and aspirations
Simon has come a long way since his early school days and I’m so proud of him. For some years School was always an issue as he just couldn’t cope due to his emotional and behavioural issues.
In the end he was excluded from School, I remember it was very sad at the time to hear him say to people that he didn’t feel he was good at anything.
Let’s forward two years later; everything seemed to change, his attitude towards learning and we started getting positives from his Teacher as he was now helping out in the School garden, and seemed much calmer now. Simon was talking about his future; he wanted to do well for himself and was finally putting his past behind him.
On Simon’s 13th birthday I decided to get him a voucher so he could be a zoo keeper for the day he absolutely enjoyed the experience and I think that was the turning point for him, when he knew that he wanted to work with animals.
When Simon was 15 he did some work experience at the riding School and really enjoyed being with animals so much so that when he left School, he volunteered at the same Riding Centre.
I didn’t know that he was going to enjoy it as much as he did or that he would still be there for 4 years later. He loves mucking out the stables and grooming and cleaning the horses and he is trusted to take the children out for rides on the roads, or playing specially made up games with them. He just loves animals, and they just seem to find him, in fact we joke with him that he is like Dr Doolittle.
When he left School he went to college to study animal care and had a series of work experiences at different animal parks, caring for a wide range of different mammals. It’s very manual work he loves being outside mucking out the enclosures and scrubbing them clean and poo picking all the inside and outside of the enclosures and as a trainee keeper he is also able to answer any questions and queries the public may have.
Simon was never really academic, but always loved being outdoors; I think he has finally found his future. Obviously he has made some mistakes on his journey because of his autism, and sometimes he needs help to understand what is expected of him, but we support him in everything he does and we believe in him.
It won’t be long before his College course will end and he will be looking for work perhaps an apprenticeship working with animals.
My thoughts are we know that when supervised properly, specific animals, including chickens, can offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits to children and adolescents with autism as well as conditions including anxiety, depression, and attachment issues.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!