The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Thailand News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Buffalo soldiers help Thai kids combat autism

LOPBURI: They may not be the most advanced pieces of kit in Thailand’s military arsenal, but “buffalo soldiers” are being deployed to help autistic children come out of their shells.

animals, health, military,


AFP

Saturday 25 March 2017, 12:00PM


They may not be the most advanced pieces of kit in Thailand’s military arsenal, but ‘buffalo soldiers’ are being deployed to help autistic children come out of their shells. Photo: AFP
They may not be the most advanced pieces of kit in Thailand’s military arsenal, but ‘buffalo soldiers’ are being deployed to help autistic children come out of their shells. Photo: AFP

Under sweltering skies in central Lopburi province, last week some two dozen children took rides on the backs of buffaloes.

The gentle bovines are owned by the Thai military, an organisation better known for coups than cuddles.

But this animal therapy is part of the military’s softer side, one of hundreds of projects up and down the country the army is using to build support among civilians.

Recent research has shown that some autistic children – who often struggle with human interactions – respond well to animals, helping them learn key skills like being more patient and sharing.

Pimporn Thongmee said she had seen a major improvement since her five-year-old autistic grandson – nicknamed Shogun – enrolled in the military’s three-month animal therapy course which sees children interact with buffaloes twice a week.

“My grandson never stayed still, never concentrated, and screamed but now he can socialise,” she said.

“He used to be afraid of the doctor but now he runs to him and leaves his grandma behind instead,” she added.

Those with disabilities or behavioural problems often find themselves stigmatised in Thailand where the concept of karma – that good or bad deeds will be rewarded and punished in the next life – is central.

Karma makes Thailand a famously generous country, with one of the highest charitable donation rates per household in the world.

C and C Marine

But many Thais also believe those who suffer are being punished for sins in past lives, a view which can result in a sympathy deficit for the unfortunate and vulnerable.

Manit Kaewmanee said her 11-year-old son Captain was often bullied as he struggled to settle in schools, eventually forcing him to leave education.

“Many people said it was our past karma,” she said. “They said he was crazy, couldn’t speak, so how could he be in society, that it was shameful for him.”

The buffalo therapy, she said, helped him conquer tasks he once had trouble with.

“Now he can cook instant noodles – and ride a bicycle very well,” she said.

Sergeant Major Kajohnsak Junpeng, the lead trainer, explained that the gentle and slow nature of buffaloes made them ideal animals to work with autistic children.

“If children grab their tails, they won't kick like horses so there won't be an accident,” he said.

Training animals and dealing with autistic children was not a job he imagined a soldier having to do, adding that it was often quite emotionally draining.

“But when I see the children progress I am proud of myself and the tiredness is gone,” he said.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

You do not have to re-register your address if it hasn't changed. Have done three annual extensions with the same Notification of address. Have be...(Read More)


Father, two kids saved from drowning in Phuket

Kurt,not only "Asian tourists"ignore red flags.And how can beach guards stop them?Getting physical?...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

While tourists languish in arrivals halls here's what Immigration deems is important for its staff to be doing; As a resident foreigner with a va...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

The writer will surely wear the wrath, of those two bedmates, jor12 and eagle, even though what he says is 100% correct....(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

I successfully applied online for my 90 day report on the 2nd August and got the status as Pending. My only other successful 90 day online applicatio...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

They'll never learn because they place so much importance on "face" that it holds them back, the fact that the Tsunami warning sign said...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

I like this "Immigration's inability to cope with tourists arriving in the country and all people need to know about how the nation operates&...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

Just do away with these 90-days reports and send the guys wasting time with that to help at the airport....(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: As good as it gets

35 million arrivals - not tourists in the Kingdom. Big difference....(Read More)


Father, two kids saved from drowning in Phuket

Meant to add: Irresponible Parents also endangering the lives of their OWN CHILDREN !...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.