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CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN LIFE

CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN LIFE

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CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN LIFE

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  1. CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN LIFE • LOSS OF PLACE • LOSS OF COMMUNITY • DECREASED TIME SPENT IN FACE TO FACE COMMUNITCATION • DECREASED ACCESS TO TOUCH TALK DIALOGUE • INCREASED TIME SPENT WITH VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE. • DECREASED TIME FOR LEARNING SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE AND EMPATHY • DECREASED ABILITY FOR NARRATIVE AND METAPHOR

  2. CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN LIFE • LOSS OF CONTACT WITH PLANTS AND ANIMALS (2.5% ON FARMS) • LOSS OF CAPACITY TO PERFORM FOR OTHERS (DOMINANCE OF MEDIA) • INCREASE IN NARCISSISM AND LOSS OF THE SENSE OF THE REAL

  3. Problems with the field of Animal Assisted Therapy • Lack of hard evidence • A plethora of nonsense • Therapists who are bonded to a single animal. • Failure to consider the larger picture of plants, animals and natural surroundings • Failure to move beyond “Does it work?” to “How does it work?” • Premature use of the medical model and the word “therapy”. • Failure to see plants animals and nature as a human environment not therapeutic objects.

  4. EDUCATIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC ENVIRONMENTS STUDIED • RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS (ADHD AND CONDUCT DISORDERS ) • RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS (DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS AND AUTISM) • SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS • THE OUR FARM SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS

  5. Treatment Method • Children seen for about 2 hours once a week. • Units of learning are sets of skills necessary to care for animals, and knowledge rationalizing those skills. Knowledge is based on animals biology, habitat, and social behavior. • Each animal becomes a unit of learning

  6. Treatment Method • Reward for mastering skills and knowledge is a license to care for an play with animal independently. Skills must be demonstrated and explained in words. Knowledge must be related verbally and tied to skills. • Dependence on verbal and reading skills is adapted for autistic children • Children are expected to help train other children and cooperate in animal care. • There is an overarching moral injunction placing the animal’s welfare first.

  7. Treatment Method • The teaching environment is a classroom with a large variety of small animals, barns and stalls for larger animals, a garden, and several ponds and associated wetlands. • In teaching a judicious heuristic anthropomorphism is used to encourage children to reason about the animals needs, signs of his comfort, and evidence of fear or aggression.

  8. Treatment Method • Child is asked to reason reciprocally, from the animal’s wants and needs to his wants and needs, from what makes an animal comfortable to what makes him/her comfortable. • Where possible learning in the farm program is integrated into classroom teaching. • Children’s skills are recognized by having them demonstrate their animals in the classroom and become active in projects bringing the farm experience into the classroom.

  9. OBSERVED RESULTS • INCREASED ATTENTION TO THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT • INCREASED CAPACITY FOR BEHAVIORAL INHIBITION • INCREASED CALM • DECREASED AGGRESSION • NEED FOR INFORMATION • INCREASED SOCIAL INTERACTION

  10. OBSERVED RESULTS • INCREASED COOPERATION • INCREASED LEARNING • INCREASED SOCIAL COMPETENCE • DECREASED SYMPTOMS • INCREASED INCLUSIVE DIALOGUE • INCREASED MORAL CONCERN • GENERALIZATION OF RESULTS

  11. CONTROLLED CLINICAL TRIALTOTAL PROBLEM SCORE (SCHOOL)TEACHER’S REPORT FORM (TRF) • CROSSOVER POINT IS AT TIME THREE. • DIFFERENCE AT TIME THREE IS 12.48 • TREATMENT EFFECT F(1,29) = 13.5, P< .001

  12. EDUCATIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC ENVIRONMENTS STUDIED • RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS (ADHD AND CONDUCT DISORDERS ) • RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTERS (DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS AND AUTISM) • SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS • THE OUR FARM SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS

  13. INFLUENCE OF CONTEXT ON SYMPTOMS TOTAL PROBLEM AND EXTERNALIZING SCORES RATED IN ZOO, SCHOOL AND RESIDENCES ACHENBACH TRF AND CBCL • TOTAL PROBLEM SCORE F (2,97) = 11.7, p <.0001 • EXTERNALIZING SCORE F(2,97) = 12.9, p< .0001

  14. INFLUENCE OF CONTEXT ON SELF - ESTEEMPIERS - HARRIS CHILDREN’S SELF - CONCEPT SCALE • HAPPINESS CONTRAST t (23) = 2.82, p<.01 • TOTAL SCORE t (23) = 2.42, p<.02

  15. EFFECTS OF PERFORMANCE IN THE COMPANIONABLE ZOOON CLASSROOM BEHAVIORAL PATHOLOGY • VALUES ARE T SCORES FOR THE ACHENBACH TOTAL SYMPTOM SCORE • T FOR TOTAL SYMPTOMS X PERFORMANCE F (1,43) = 5.46, p < .O5

  16. T Scores for Achenbach TRF Internalizing Problems (IP)Externalizing Problems (EP) and Total Problems (TP) Comparing Farm Program and Regular School Classroom41 Students First Year IP F=17.6, P<.0001 EP F=38.8, P<.0001 TP F=45, P<.0001

  17. Comparison of Achenbach TRF (Internalizing Problems, Externalizing Problems, and Total Problems) in school and farm program for children with diagnosis of Autism N=12 First Year

  18. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FARM AND SCHOOL AT END OF YEAR ASSESSMENT ON COMPOSITE SCORES FOR ALL STUDENTS (N=67) COMBINED FIRST AND SECOND YEAR • Total p. F=35, p<.000 • Int. p. F=20, p<.000 • Ext. P. F=20, p<.000

  19. DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FARM AND SCHOOL AT END OF YEAR ASSESSMENT ON FACTOR SCORES FOR ALL STUDENTS (N=67) COMBINED FIRST AND SECOND YEAR • Aggression F=13 p<.000 • Attention Problems F=23,p<.000 • Atypical F=32, p<.000

  20. Differences in teacher’s ratings between end of year farm and school for children followed for one year.N=46 First and Second Year • Total = Behavioral symptom index • External = Externaliz- ing problems • Internal = Internaliz-ing problems • All differences significant at <.000 level

  21. CHANGE IN COMPOSITE SCORES FOR TOTAL STUDENTS FOLLOWED FOR ONE YEAR (N=46) FIRST AND SECOND YEARS • Total P. F=24, p<.000 • Int. P. F=14, p<.000 • Ext. p. F=12, P<.000 • ANOVA was significant for Place but not for Time

  22. CHANGE IN FACTOR SCORES FOR TOTAL STUDENTS FOLLOWED FOR ONE YEAR (N=56) FIRST AND SECOND YEARS • Agg. F=6.2, p<.013 • At. P. F=19, p<.000 • Atypical F=24, P<.000 • ANOVA was significant for Place but not for Time

  23. CHANGE IN FACTOR SCORES FOR NOT AUTISTIC STUDENTS FOLLOWED FOR ONE YEAR WITH B.A.S.C. (N=28) SECOND YEAR • Agg. N.S. • At. P. F=16, p<.000 • Atypical F=14, P<.000 • ANOVA was significant for Place but not for Time • Students were ADHD, LD, and SED

  24. CHANGE IN COMPOSITE SCORES FOR NOT AUTISTIC STUDENTS FOLLOWED FOR ONE YEAR WITH B.A.S.C. (N=28) SECOND YEAR • Total P. F=5.0, p<.002 • Int. P. F=9.9, P<.002 • Ext. P. F=9.5, P<.002 • ANOVA was significant for Place but not for Time • Students were ADHD, LD, and SED

  25. CHANGE IN COMPOSITE SCORES FOR AUTISTIC STUDENTS FOLLOWED FOR ONE YEAR (N=18) FIRST AND SECOND YEAR • Total P. F=10.6, P<.002 • Int. P. N.S. • Ext. P. F=6.5, P<.005 • ANOVA was significant for Place but not for Time

  26. CHANGE IN FACTOR SCORES FOR AUTISTIC STUDENTS FOLLOWED FOR ONE YEAR (N=18) FIRST AND SECOND YEAR • Agg. N.S. • At. P. F=5.4, p<.02 • Atypical F=17, p<.000 • ANOVA was significant for Place but not for Time

  27. Why are these results unsatisfactory? • They are based on judgments or ratings not on actual observation of micro-behavior • They are subject to bias produced by animal and natural environment. • They do not suggest critical tests of this important phenomena.

  28. Effect of Multiple Raters • During the first year all autistic students had one rater for school and farm and all other students had two raters so effect could not be tested independently of diagnosis • In the second year we could contrast not autistic students with one or two raters and there was no difference.

  29. GARDNER’S “INTELLINGENCES” • LINGUISTIC • LOGICAL MATHEMATICAL • SPATIAL • MUSICAL • KINESTHETIC • INTERPERSONAL (SOCIAL) • INTRAPERSONAL • NATURAL HISTORY

  30. Required Evidence • Some people are better than others at locating animals, approaching animals, managing animals, and training animals. • The critical times for developing these traits • The interaction between ability and learning • The relationship between ability, or practice and therapeutic effect.

  31. EXPANDING NATURAL HISTORY INTELLIGENCE • ATTENTION TO ANIMALS • SOCIAL INTERACTION WITH ANIMALS • CARE OF ANIMALS • TRAINING ANIMALS • ATTENTION TO NATURE • MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

  32. EXPANDING NATURAL HISTORYINTELLIGENCE • GARDENING • TRACKING ANIMALS • GATHERING • ORIENTING • WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE • SPECIES IDENTIFICATION • SPECIES CLASSIFICATION

  33. Animals Attract and hold Attention • That animals can attract and hold attention is not worth questioning. It is worthwhile asking, “how much more than machines, video-games, robot animals, gardening, cooking, and building or assembling objects” • The methodology is difficult because attention to animals is demonstrated “on the move” and by task oriented independent and cooperative behavior. That behavior is difficult to compare to classroom behavior because it is so active and chaos does not mean lack of attention or “on task” activity. • Teachers have to be trained to recognize learning in a new form

  34. Animals make people associated with them more socially attractive. • No contest. • Makes evaluation difficult, and behavioral inventories suspect. • However the positive bias works to children’s advantage, and the entire treatment effect can not be attributed to bias. • Next question why? And is it cultural or hard wired? • Prospective and potentially testable theory is provided by Victor Turner’s concept of liminality.

  35. WHY DO ANIMALS INCREASE HUMAN SOCIAL ATTRACTIVENESS? • The reliable increase in human social attractiveness produced when people are paired with animals has not been explained. • A causal factor can be found in the “handicap principle” - the presence of the animal is a reliable sign that the person is capable of nurturing another. • Another explanation is to be found in the anthropological concept of “Liminality”

  36. CONCEPT OF LIMINALITY • Derived from phenomena observed during initiation rites, ceremonies, group behavior during threat, and theatrical performances. • Observations include • group cohesion (communitas) • emphasis on lateral bonds and loss of significance of vertical bonds • sense of being charged with energy and enthusiasm

  37. CONCEPT OF LIMINALITY • Observations include (CONTINUED) • Period of play with social rules and concepts • Personal identity becomes less significant • Animal forms become means of illustrating and playing with human relationships • Period of rapid (although sometimes temporary) identity change. • Remembered as “good times”

  38. EVOLUTIONARY SIGNIFICANCE OF LIMINALITY • Because dominant individuals - leaders who control through intimidation and forming alliances are not necessarily good hunters. • The group leadership had to be reformed during the hunt. • The decrease in hierarchical bonding and increase in lateral bonding permitted new leaders to arise for the hunt • The stimulus for this was the presence of animals

  39. WHY DO WE TALK TO ANIMALS? • Human beings have universally talked to animals, and about animals - as if the animals were listening. • In hunting and gathering societies people spoke carefully to and about animals to calm them and to please them so that they would continue to give their meat to the hunters. • This orientation toward calming animals, whatever the metaphorical overlay had the effect of increasing the efficiency of hunting. • Keeping animals calm and comfortable aided domestication and production of domestic animals.

  40. CONTINUITY OF RESPECT • The hunter-gatherer, the primitive agriculturist, and the modern pet keeper share a similar belief in animal soul, intelligence, and personality. • From that belief flows respect, care, and a need to value peace and calm with animals. • Respect for animal life does not originate in abstention from killing animals but in refusing to give them soul.

  41. MECHANISM OF ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY • Animal draws person out of distracted state (biophilia) • Animal induces a state of inhibition • Inhibition draws dialogue • Dialogue is followed by competent action. • Competent interaction with animal generates positive emotional state. • Positive emotional state modifies self image.

  42. The Farm, The Pond, The Stream, and The Wood-lot as Ideal Human Environments • They direct attention outward • They promote liminality, social cohesion, cooperation and competence • They provide the most inclusive environments for learning • They give a sense of place - change and stability • With direction they help children learn concrete acts of care and respect • They are places where all have souls

  43. George

  44. Achenbach TRF (Total Symptoms) followed for one year for one child with learning disabilities

  45. Betsy

  46. Achenbach TRF (Total Problems) followed for one year for one child with Asperger’s Syndrome

  47. Delores

  48. Achenbach TRF (Total Problems) followed for one year for one child with Autism

  49. Stan

  50. Achenbach TRF (Total Problems) followed for one year for one child with Emotional Disabilities