Q: My 9 year old child has been diagnosed with Autism. Although he is non-verbal he understands instructions and is well behaved. My concern is his social functioning and what I can do to help him.
A: Autism is now recognized as describing a wide spectrum of symptoms. For this reason we now refer to the Autism Spectrum Disorder which includes not only Autistic disorder but also Asperger’s disorder and other similar conditions.
There has been a great deal of media attention recently, focusing on autistic children and the lack of services available to them and their families. As these children age to teens they can become too difficult for their families to handle and because of the lack of services, some families have relinquished their children to the Children’s Aid Society. I too have known families where this has been the case. In order to assist these families so that it does not come to this, I have resourced associates who are specialists in working with this very difficult and intense population.
My equine and autism specialists are prepared to offer services to the autistic child/preteen. Focusing on social skills and communication they will use the medium of therapeutic equine experiences on the grounds of Elayne Tanner and Associates. With specialists experienced not only with children who are on the Autism spectrum, but also with our gentle giant Percheron-Freisian horses as well as extensively experienced in providing equine training for autistic children, we are prepared to develop and provide specialized services for a small number of families with Autistic children. In order to keep a high therapist to student ratio, we will keep this program very limited in size. Because of that, we can also be flexible in meeting the specific needs of each child, providing respite for families secure in the knowledge that their child is having a safe, educational and enjoyable experience. This program will be offered on a first come priority so please contact Elayne Tanner and Associates if you are interested in exploring this unique opportunity.