Learn, develop and apply skills to effectively facilitate Animal Assisted Learning Program Chickens to Love.


Animal Assisted Learning Program (AAL)

*** The Chickens to Love handbook and resources are no longer available as a standalone resource.  The handbook and resources will be part of Training the Facilitator Workshops (Face to face). This ensures that the program is delivered correctly ***


This program has been developed for Autistic and other Neurodivergent people (this includes anyone who identifies as ADHD, ADD, ABI or anyone whose brain is not considered “typical”).

I created Chickens to Love as an inclusive program, to benefit everyone and include everyone, because neurodiversity is part of biodiversity. We all can benefit from understanding ourselves, our emotions, and the perspectives of others. Our communities must learn the importance of a deeper level of compassion, empathy, and acceptance of differences.

Neurodivergent people, are often encouraged or forced to fit in to everyone else’s way of seeing the world. The Cultivation of self-esteem starts with self-love, self-acceptance and having the ability to embrace one’s true authentic self.

Chickens to Love is designed from a neurodivergent and animal (Chicken) perspective to better understand social dynamics, emotions (ours and other people’s), other people’s perspectives, consent, respectful touch, resilience, self-acceptance, empowerment and how to self-advocate. Animals can change our lives. Never underestimate the power of the chicken! 


To identify emotions in ourselves and of others, and how our emotions may impact those around us

To understand how chickens can be our emotional thermometers

To develop and understanding how chickens can assist in an assisted learning environment and can have a positive impact on cognitive, social, physical, communication and emotional wellbeing To understand chicken behaviour, flock social hierarchy and dynamics

To understand the value of creating a space that meets the needs of both

humans and chickens, a space that encourages bonding and connecting. 

To create an understanding how Chickens can assist with; connection without preconception, building confidence and self-esteem, develop social awareness and understanding social dynamics, reduce anxiety levels, stimulate cognitive skills, physical and sensory

To develop and understanding from an autistic perspective. How interacting, observing, and immersing myself within my chicken flock bridged the gap in my understanding of human social dynamics.  

Facilitate the program in an education and animal assisted Learning setting


Animals reduce anxiety and build confidence through providing unconditional acceptance, language development, and developing communication and social skills. This is by improving psychological development, social skills, and self-esteem which additionally instils responsibility, empathy, respect, and trust

This program can be adapted to support varied age groups. Session plans offer a layered approach, catering for a range of learning styles (verbal and audio instructions, written instructions, photo sequencing and video demonstration to support individual needs and abilities)


Professor Tony Attwood 
Clinical Psychologist specializing in Autism

“There is an incredibly special bond that occurs between Summer and her chickens. They understand each other and have an amazing connection. We need to develop a similar understanding and a sense of connection with autistic children.  As Summer explored the abilities, personalities, and qualities of her chickens, she developed a unique program to improve the communication of thoughts and feelings and social engagement between those who have autism and those who are neurotypical. The benefits will include a greater understanding of social dynamics, improved self-acceptance and reduced anxiety. The activities are engaging, enjoyable and insightful.  I learned and appreciated so much when Summer gave a demonstration of her program and have no hesitation in endorsing Chickens to Love.”

Wendy Coombe
Founder Animal Therapies Ltd

“Summer Farrelly understands what it is like to feel “islanded with no one to help her paddle a boat to escape” and that is where the Chickens to Love program began. A girl who found a friend in a chicken and then learned that each chicken had its place within the flock’ s social hierarchy which was not too different to that of the school playground.

As the Founder of Animal Therapies Ltd (ATL), the leading Australian institution for promoting the prevention and ma nagement of mental illness, disability, disease and suffering through animal-assisted services, we welcome the Chicken-Assisted Learning program as a part of this young and growing sector.

The animal-assisted services sector is made up of a range of different professionals who have animals working alongside them as a key part of their service delivery. The type of service being delivered depends on the qualification of the person delivering it:

  • Allied Health professionals deliver Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)
    Educators, Coaches, Learning and Development professionals deliver Animal-Assisted Learning (AAL)
  • Professional Animal Handler Teams who have been assessed as suitable for visits to workplaces, hospitals, aged care homes, places of study and other institutions deliver Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA)
  • Professional Assistance Animal Trainers who satisfy certain standards required to train animals to help people with a disability better access public life deliver assistance animal training and or placement. (AA)

This program offers participants great insight into how chickens can be included into the wonderful world of “Animals Helping Humans”


We do not personally endorse any program delivered using the content within this program, associated with this program, nor the usage of our names, Summer Farrelly and/or Chickens to Love with the intention of endorsement.