A Welsh bestiary

Max is not big on animals. I often feel a twinge of envy ('Your kid's autism is better than mine'!?! - I know...) when I read about autistic kids who get help from having close relationships with dogs or horses. Max is just afraid of them. It's been a pain at times, as animals do get around. But mostly, I've felt that he missed out not only on fun with cuddly beasts, but on a whole learning experience that other children get from talking about nature.

Well, things did start to change for the better during our Welsh holiday last month. Max was on the whole calmer around animals, able to talk about them and learn from them.

He went fishing in rock pools with a little net: proudly caught a dead crab, all by himself, and marvelled at the tiny shrimp and catfish his daddy captured for him. He also enjoyed throwing them back in the sea, so we had no floaters to deal with.

During our cliff walk to Aberystwyth, we were able to talk about sheep, and how they give us wool, and cows and how they give us milk. A few days later we visited a fantasy farm and Max pulled on the udders of a plaster cow.

I took him to a small zoo where he was given a cup of raw veg and peanuts to feed the animals. He let me handle the actual feeding part of it, but was absolutely delighted to see the squirrels eat the nuts.

But his favourite creatures were definitely the gulls, despite the fact that there were so many of them, that they came very close to us, that they were loud and aggressive, he loved them. He sought them out, imitated their cry, and walked up close to them. A week before we went to Wales, he was still scared of pigeons.

Today, he told me he'd like to have a cat. 

A few bestial encounters.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would love to help him find a cat!

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