Tag Archives: Autism

You Go, Jac!

10 Nov
There is nothing better than friends.  Jacob is to the right.

There is nothing better than friends. Jacob is to the right.

He struggled all of his life. Unable to read social cues, he was ostrasized by his peers. Rigid in his thinking, led to fights and altercations which started him on a path he did not want to travel.

In school he was classified as being on the Autism Spectrum and given a one-on-one aide to guide and lead him to success in the classroom.

His mother was constantly seeking innovative therapies to help her only son. She heard about equine therapy and its success with children that had difficulty with social situations. It was at this time that his mother registered her son to receive equine therapy at Raise Your Dreams Farm, located in Southern NJ.

It was here that I met Jacob. Every moment at the farm was structured and he was given specific tasks, which he carried out with precision. Slowly, he was seen as a great helper, and the other students would go to him for advice or help with their horse. He slowly gained confidence and a knack with the horses and ponies. It was here that he set noble goals and each one was met with thunderous applause. He got a facebook page and became friends with the other students at the farm. He learned to negotiate the nuisances of teenagerhood with the help and assistance of these friends. They would fist pump and high five each other over their accomplishments on the horses. Jacob learned valuable lessons that helped him to acclimate to the high school.

Today Jacob is declassified and this fall he was nominated for the Homecoming Court, voted on by his peers.

This may seem impossible, but for Jacob, he has one answer for his success, Raise Your Dreams Farm. It is here that he learned how to be a friend and how to have friends. Horses are the great equalizer and they taught him patience, love, forgiveness, and goal setting. Jacob has been given the coveted position as an Assistant Instructor, which he has taken quite seriously. He schools other students and has developed an instructor’s eye to fine tune the rider’s position. He has become a valuable member of this farm and it has blessed him as much as he has blessed us.

Would you like to support Raise Your Dreams Farm? It is very easy- just post a horse, tack, unwanted riding apparel on http://www.anythingforhorseandrider.com. Through your posting, you will support this farm and all of the work done here.

Want to follow the riders here? Go to Raise Your Dreams Farm FB page or Anything for Horse and Rider FB page.

Great Pyrenees, Great Love

27 Dec

We had just lost our wolf-hybrid, Vision.  He was quite the character, always full of fun and adventure.  He was the consummate watch dog.  There were times that he would shoo off  questionable characters that sometimes frequent the rural area of New Jersey.  He was white with yellow eyes and most people were fearful of his looks.  He was gentle as a lamb with children and those that he trusted, and now we had the unpleasant task of trying to find a dog that could replace Vision.  We have two labs, though they would spring into action if needed, but they did not watch the farm like Vision did. 

One day while watching Animal Planet we came across a dog that seemed to fit what we were looking for, a guard dog that would be gentle enough to handle all of the children that come here.  We found it in the Great Pyrenees breed.  We bought two male puppies off of  the internet.  I have never bought a dog in my life, much less one on the internet.  I was always the one that was always saving  dogs from the pound.july2012 013 The two puppies came to us as little fluff balls.  If anyone knows Great Pyrenees puppies, they will agree, there is nothing as cute as them.

Now they are four years old.  They are the guardian watchers of the farm.  They are the first to greet all that come to the farm.  They are eye level with most car windows and they are not below licking the windows in anticipation of the visitor’s pat.  My farm is the equine therapy center for the Salem Center for Autism, and many of the children come very excited.  They do not leave that way.  They ride and then usually sit on the ground for the dogs to then sit on them.  It is quite a sight.  I did not teach them to do that, they just sense the need for the student to have their sensory needs to be met.  They are too happy to oblige.

Do you have a dog or dogs that have special traits?  Please share!

Rich Living with Chicken Nugget

11 Nov

Am I rich? You bet!

I am rich in experiences. Yesterday I witnessed a little autistic child speak to my therapeutic pony, Chicken Nugget. He said “Whoa!”

It was not much, but I know it will lead to more words.

This is what makes me rich!!

Are you rich? Please share!!!

%d bloggers like this: