Buffalo therapy developed by Thai military to help children with autism

A new therapy initiated by Thailand’s military in Lopbury, the central part of the Kingdom, aims to fight autism with the help of… buffalos. According to those supervising the treatment, children diagnosed with autism form bonds and develop emotional links when they’re riding the backs of buffalos. The therapy has attracted numerous fans and went from a few dozen patients to hundreds in just weeks.

buffalo2The main part of the therapy involves children being led around on a field on the backs of the buffalos, under the supervision of Thai soldiers. It’s not the only part, though: the young patients also participate in art and music classes with the soldiers. Interaction is the key word when riding the buffalos too: the children play games and take part in mini races. The standard treatment can take as much as weeks, with more than 20 hours combined of buffalo riding.

“They become friends, and like the contact. Parents say they have never seen this before with their sons or daughters. We see children change from being emotionless and tense to having smiles and laughter on their face. It’s a magical moment to see the thrill, adrenaline and joy on their faces,” said General Kajonsak Jonpeng, the head of the programme.

The project was initiated after soldiers in Lopbury rescued a few buffalos from nearby farms and, hearing of dolphins and horses being used in autism therapy, believed that buffalo would have similar benefits. Results in the following weeks showed them they weren’t wrong in their assessment.

Specialists say that animals have a long history of improving the condition of children with autism.

“Research shows that pets can lower stress levels in some families, and we also know many autistic people and families who say they’ve really benefited from being around animals. (…) We welcome the development of new initiatives that have a positive impact on autistic people and their families,” said Carol Povey, Director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism.

buffalo1This doesn’t mean that all children diagnosed with autism would react favorably to this type of treatment, added Ms. Povey. According to her, autism affects everyone differently and buffalo treatment may be overwhelming for some, particularly those who are acutely sensitive to noise or touch.

The therapy already gained a following in Thailand, with people coming from as far as Myanmar and Cambodia to give buffalo treatment a chance in curing their children.

About The Author

David Nataf started his career as co-founder of Net Development, a leading French web integrators, employing 80 people. After the merger of Net Development with Reef publisher, David joined the law firm, Jean-Pierre Millet, with the defense of computer attackers and victimes specialty ("hackers") in cases between different organizations such as NSA or other members of the international interception 'Echelon' network from the UKUSA treaty or the US Air Force. He is the author of several books on information warfare, consultant for the European Parliament as an expert in computer security (SSI) and electromagnetic signals intelligence (SIGINT). David Nataf successively launched several start-ups of the Internet in the field of paperless technologies termination of contracts online ("resilier.com"); online subscription to early stage fundraising foreshadowing the model will retain more later the platform "gust.com", or free roaming mobile operators (MVNO). Given his specialty at the cross road of anti computer crime legal advising, Internet technology, media and anti-propaganda operations, David has naturally become an actor's influence on the Web, working for a think-tank representing french defense and Aerospace. He is architecting crypto farms and masternodes for cryptocurrencies in Asia and Israel technological parks. He graduated in Law from the Faculty of Paris, is a passionate graduated gemologist by Gemological Institute of America "GG", Gemmological Association of Great Britain "Cert-Ga", practical daily triathlon.

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