Considering Getting a Snake for Autistic Sister

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by GoldenGaytime404, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. GoldenGaytime404

    GoldenGaytime404 Not so new Member

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    So my little sister has Asperger's Syndrome (a form of autism) and recently we went to a zoo and one of the keepers was doing a talk and had some slithery assistants. She let some of the kids pet the python she was holding, including my sister, who liked the smooth feeling of its scales. I've been doing a ton of research lately about getting one for her but I can't decide which species to get. I would be the snake's primary carer of course (I'm doing an Animal Studies course at TAFE). Any insight would be super helpful.
     
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Why do you say 'of course'? Many people with Asperger's keep snakes. One of the largest keepers of snakes in Australia, someone well known (I won't name him) has Asperger's.

    Anyway, the best species will depend on what she likes. Definitely one of the pythons. The most common and probably the best options are Carpet Pythons, Antaresia (all of the species are similar to keep and handle etc) and Womas. Perhaps worth mentioning are Water Pythons, Black-headed Pythons and if you want something really big, Olive Pythons.

    Carpet Pythons are good if you want a large snake (there are several types which do vary a bit in multiple ways including how the handle, how keenly they feed, and some differences in how they're best kept, and adult size), Antaresia are good if you want a small snake (they won't get much larger than a metre), and you can look into the others. If she's really keen on one of the others that's great and you can go for it, but typically a Carpet or Antaresia will be best as a first snake.
     
  3. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    They may have said of course because their sister is too young to own the snake by herself
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 15, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 15, 2019 ---
    I think also maybe an anterasia may be a better option compared to a carpet because of their tempurament
     
  4. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    It's certainly a possibility :) Just wondering what the reason was because it may change the recommendation and other than having Asperger's no reason was given.
     
  5. LittleButterfly

    LittleButterfly Not so new Member

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    Sometimes it just doesn't cross peoples minds to put extra details at first
     
  6. cagey

    cagey Subscriber Subscriber

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    My most chiiled and active snake is my woma. At the end ot the day it will be which one she is most interested in and finding a breeder.
     
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  7. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Right, which is why I asked :)
     
  8. ColourBombReptiles

    ColourBombReptiles Not so new Member

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    Well, I happen to have so myself Aspergers and I’m a girl and I have a scaly friend! I recommend a carpet python :p
     
  9. GoldenGaytime404

    GoldenGaytime404 Not so new Member

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    My sister is ten years old right now so my parents don't think she should have full responsibility, especially with feeding (they don't want her getting bitten). I'll let her have more responsibility as she gets older and more experienced.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 15, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 15, 2019 ---
    I've been looking into Antaresias and Woma Pythons fairly extensively and I'm leaning toward the latter, since they're on the smaller side.
     
  10. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Antaresia are all smaller than Womas, but if you want a Woma they're pretty cool snakes too :) If you can, have a play with both and watch them feed. They're all great snakes, but Womas are very different from Antaresia and you might have a strong personal preference for one or the other.

    Best of luck :)
     
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  11. nick_75

    nick_75 Active Member

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    A very close friend's ten year old son has autism, he has been fascinated with my snakes his whole life. He got his own children's python two years ago (on his parents licence). He was engaged regarding the species and was taken to see all of the different breeders to choose the individual. Don't leave your sister out of the whole process and present her with a snake and say "here, this is yours". Include her in the research, try and get a good sense of her level of interest and what her preference is.

    All of the options above are great, do the research and make a good decision together. Have you looked at much literature? There are many great books out there for first time keepers.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 16, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 16, 2019 ---
    I think your parents a being over protective, a snake bite from a small python is not a harrowing experience. Being bitten is something reptile owners have to deal with. My friend's boy mentioned above has full responsibility of his python (his parents monitor him feeding and cleaning). He has been bitten, it happens. It has not discouraged him in the slightest. Letting your sister care for the animal (with supervision) may ensure that she takes a keener interest and views the animal as her's.
     
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  12. GoldenGaytime404

    GoldenGaytime404 Not so new Member

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    I've been doing most of my research online since my parents always have the car and I can't go to the local library, but I will when I get the chance. I've been including her as much as I can, but she seems more interested in looking at the pictures of the snakes than the words lol.
     
  13. Abstractivity

    Abstractivity Not so new Member

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    Doesn't sound like you're rushing into this which is good, but your sister may not be all that interested in a few years time. So make sure she is really invested. Handling is the best thing she can do to build her confidence (has she a handled a snake before or just touched?). Imo when you decide on a species you should go through a few options with the breeder and see which individuals handle the best (making sure they're all established feeders and shedders, most reputable breeders will keep a feeding card wish sheds on them) . Then you can choose which you think will manifest the best colours/patterns (if you are concerned about colour/pattern that is).
     
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  14. nick_75

    nick_75 Active Member

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    I'm not sure if any of the books you should read would be available at your local library. There used to be a thread on this site titled "Recommended Reading", use the search function to find it and look at the list. If you can't find the thread, look online for a copy of 'Keeping and Breeding Australian Pythons' by Mike Swan. The book gives a great overview of all Australian python species and will help you make a decision based on size, housing requirements and potential temperament. The book is an essential start for any new keeper.

    Most states have reptile husbandry guidelines that you should look up as well.
     
  15. princessparrot

    princessparrot Very Well-Known Member

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    My first was an Uluru woma and she's a total darling. I also got a children's python a couple years later then another woma. The childrens is definitely a bit more bitey than my womas and when she was little would strike almost every time I put my hand in her enclosure where as my oldest woma has only bitten me three times and I haven't counted the amount of times my youngest woma has bitten me but every time it's only been because his strike missed the food and got me instead. The womas are super chilled though as long as they can't sense food and have finished eating and will let pretty much anyone hold them at any time including my three year old niece and soon after eating as long as they've totally finished(just need to be a bit more cautious). I love showing them to people and due to their calmness they have changed the view of snakes for a few people including curing the fear of them for some.
    depends what you're looking for in the snake and how big you want them to get. The two I mentioned above are both generally good for handling, good feeders and don't get too big but I would definitely put womas as #1 . In regards to larger snakes I have heard that black headed pythons can also be good pets and feeders but not quite as calm as womas. Bredlis are another good one but I've never actually had experience with them(I'd love to though). Olive pythons can get BIG and are the largest australian snake by weight but are often referred to as "gentle giants" and I have to agree. I adore them and almost find them comparable to my womas, just in giant form. They are also generally good handlers and vigorous feeders so probably not the best for little people or as a first snake...

    so that is just my opinion on them but it's up to you and your sister on what you want to get.
    Good luck!


    and yes I'm autistic
     
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  16. Melmy

    Melmy Not so new Member

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    My 10 yr old daughter is autistic (Aspergers) and LOVES pythons. I'm looking at getting her first one for her in the next few weeks. She's held a few big pythons over the years, her first was when she was in kinder! She likes the look of the spotteds and Womas and carpets. I hope to hear more about how she goes with it and what she/you pick :)
     
  17. Mummakys

    Mummakys New Member

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    My daughter got a Maci for her 6th birthday, she does everything for it, she's waiting assessment for asd and adhd, but being neuro diverse can be a benefit as routine and order is big for most with autism. My advice as a parent to a few kids with autism is to make them 100% responsible, be there every single time to help, guide, and supervise but part of owning a pet is being responsible for it.

    We chose a Maci for our daughter as it grows to a sensible handling size for her, not too big that she would be scared to hold it when an adult, she got a hatchling so she got used to handling it, cleaning the tank, and feeding it from a size that wouldn't hurt if bitten, and shes only been bitten once since June, and handled it fine. Dad is always with her when shes handling it and supervises feeds. She had two options when we went to buy it and she got to choose which one she wanted and the person was great and she got to have a hold and decided she really really needed it that day.

    Another option to look at is a Lizard, our son got a Blue Tongue Lizard for his 10th birthday, he researched them first, he has level 2 austism, adhd, spd, and a few other comorbidies, sometimes he needs reminded to feed the lizard but it's been his sole responsibility from the day he bought it.

    My advice is to take your time, make sure this isn't a passing interest, our daughter was watching snake tv on YouTube every chance she got and really wanted a Ball python till we explained why that wasn't possible, we got nagged for a snake as she needed one apparently so we told her if she researches what a snake needs and is still wanting one then her birthday present would be a snake, that was 7m away, her interest just increased, she became hyper focused on snakes, it was her obsession, so we knew it wasn't just a passing thing. Also buy a hatchling let them both grow together.

    Goodluck, reptiles are fantastic for neuro diverse people
     
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  18. Kaisolas

    Kaisolas New Member

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    I loved my Stimsons Python!! Smaller and a fantastic temperament.

    The best way to help prevent bites is to feed out of their vivarium in a tub or other container and use tongs. This way the snake doesn’t associate feeding with the vivarium or with fingers/hands.

    My 6 & 9 yr old sons helped feed our Lucifer all the time.
     
  19. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Ah, that old chestnut. There used to be many people pushing this myth. They were always outnumbered by people who could see it for the nonsense it is, but these days there are far fewer people following it. Still, you see it pop up once in a while.

    Using tongs is definitely a good idea, even just for the times their aim is off (it's common for them to accidentally bite the tongs, and if you're not using tongs, that'll be your fingers/hand) but putting them into the feeding container is a counterproductive waste of time.
     
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  20. Chris1

    Chris1 cupcake Subscriber

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    Lol, I used to feed outside of the enclosures, I would line up a row of chairs on the back lawn, put a snake on each chair, then offer them rats, and all of my snakes were fine being approached in their enclosures.
    Then the dogs arrived and it became to difficult to get them all out for feeding. Now only my first snake which was handled to death as a youngster can still be approached in his enclosure, the other 16 are ready to grab me the second their doors are opened. I do wish I had kept up the feeding outside of the enclosure, but it’s too late now!!
     
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