We believe that horses can teach individuals the concept of unconditional love, improve their problem-solving skills, social skills, and language abilities, and also serve as a metaphor for people, places, and challenges in their life. Developing and practicing these life skills challenges can be especially difficult for people with autism.
Why the focus on autism?
Data from April 2018 reports that as many as 1 in 59 children in the United States is diagnosed on the autism spectrum – this is 1.7% of the US population. These children are often characterized with poor social/communication skills, delayed language skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, physical clumsiness, and behavioral challenges.
How does Puzzle Ponies help children with autism?
Puzzle Ponies works toward optimizing the individual’s current level of functioning thereby enhancing the ability, and desire, to interact with other people. Through grooming, caring for and riding the ponies, individuals with autism are exposed to a variety of stimuli that they cannot control. This can be especially challenging and overwhelming for people who thrive on routine, but it provides them with an opportunity to be exposed to these situations and practice the skills to safely and effectively deal with life in general.
At this time, only Christine and Sarah are qualified to incorporate the horses in therapy sessions.
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