RUSTY WILLOW THERAPY FARM
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What's the story?
My husband (Tim) and I (Naomi) have spent the majority of our lives living in Errington. About 20 years ago we were incredibly lucky to purchase some raw land and begin building our home. There's always a project on the go. But we truly feel grateful to be living here, raising our Kiddos in this beautiful setting.
I first started working with the Mentally and Physically disabled almost 25 years ago. And through the years I have been blessed to be able to meet and work with many children and adults that have other diagnosis's. (Autism, Downsyndrome, FASD, ADHD, Brain injuries and mental health.) I have learned so much with all of them. But most of all I've learnt that each individual is unique, and should never be defined by their diagnosis. They should be treated with the kindness and respect of the person they are on the inside. And nothing is more gratifying then getting to know that person.
Rusty Willow Therapy was created because I have high needs Kiddos. And my youngest never met the criteria. He never checked the right boxes or his problems were never "bad enough". It didn't matter that he struggled every day. He was just a square peg that didn't fit in the round hole. The one thing that we discovered that did work for all them though, was outside time, routine, stability, activity and the love of an animal. Watching them interact and bond with the animals. Brought out a side of them that we wanted to nuture.
But it wasn't until after another frustrating day of having so many doors closed on me and a heart that was becoming increasingly heavy, that I began to wonder how many others have tried fighting for their loved ones, to be only told "No". To be honest this became the biggest light bulb moment of my life. If the professionals couldn't help us, then it was time I figured out how to help ourselves...and hopefully, maybe others. And here we are a year later...2021. We've expanded our little chicken and rabbit family to include our therapy Family. And I get to laugh and grow as I watch my Kids bond, learn to love and share in different ways. They become centered, happier and calmer. And this is what I would like Rusty Willow to share with others.
So when you visit Rusty Willow Farm... please keep in mind that we are a Family first property. (Human, furry or feathered. They are all our family) You may see toys, a bike...or even a shoe in the yard. That's because our Family loves our Farm and wants to share it with others. ( and maybe because they ignored me when I asked them to put their toys away....lol) But our hope is that you will love it as much as we do. And you will find what you are striving for here.
What can I bring?
We ask that you wear covered toed shoes, that you don't mind getting dirty. This also for the safety of your toes. If the weather has been wet, boots are a good idea.
We ask that you wear appropriate clothing. Covered legs and arms are best. You never know where adventure will take us.
If you have a blanket or a stuffy that you would like to bring, please feel free to bring it. With the expectations that it may get dirty and an animal may try to cuddle with it. You must be willing to share. :)
Water and snacks are ok. But all garbage must be taken with you or disposed of in the garbage. And there is no sharing with the animals. Some of our animals have special dietary needs and sharing could make them deathly ill.
What can I expect?
On your first visit we will do a Client Care plan and meet the Family. After that we will try and meet your goals. Each visit may be a little different, depending on your goals. But every visit will involve an animal. Please remember that relationships take time. And that you and the animals are working towards exploring that relationship.
Therapy Sessions are booked for an hour. With-in that hour we will. Greet each other...have a check-in. We will take a moment to settle ourselves and move into the animal area. About 15 minutes before our time is up. We will begin saying our good-byes and start our transition to leave.
Parents and Caregivers, you will be asked to stay in the vechicle or Gazebo until the session is over. Feel free to read, catch up on a couple things...or even have a nap.
Any big No-No's?
For the protection of those who come to the property we ask that no pictures or videos be taken. If the Client would like to have a picture taken of them with an animal, I would be more than happy to take it for them.
Of course any actions that may hurt the animals is definetly a big No-no. I understand that somethings do happen, or may be an accident. But hitting may result in a change of therapy. Under no circumstances will one of our Rusty Willow Family members be hit or abused. Some of our Family members have been in those situations in the past and deserve to heal and feel safe at Rusty Willow.
Please refrain from swearing and inappropriate conversations. We try and make our time together here as peaceful as possible.
Parents and Caregivers please stay in your car or at the gazebo. We don't want the animals or Clients to become distracted and because this is our home, we would appreciate it if you could respect our family's privacy. :)
Come with an open mind.
Try to communicate your needs to me. ( I know this can be very hard to do.)
Ask questions....lots and lots of questions
Feel free to explore your emotions. If you feel like laughing...laugh. If you need to cry...cry. It's ok to BE in the moment.
Know that you are appreciated and that we look forward to seeing you.