Thursday, April 01, 2004


Mikey and friend

Winston Churchill supposedly once said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

My son, Mikey, has Down syndrome and ASD (autistic spectrum disorder). Mikey is a great kid and is extremly loving but his disabilites create many challenges. Mikey's biggest problem is that he can't speak which makes it very difficult to express his needs, wants, and desires so he sometimes acts out in frustration. He sometimes has a great deal of trouble controlling his behavior.

A few years ago we started Mikey with a program called HorseAbility. The program is designed to use different types of therapies while riding a horse. Mikey had originally started riding when he was three in order to improve his body strength but as his ASD became more apparent we started using it to improve his behavior. Mikey loves trotting on the horse and the therapist uses it as a reward for appropriate behavior.

There is no cure for ASD but we have seen a marked improvement in Mikey's behavior over the last year. The combination of various therapies with a program of appropriate medications has helped Mikey to regain control of himself and be a much happier child.

HorseAbility is not the only therapy that we use to improve Mikey's behavior and speech but we know that HorseAbility has been a key factor in helping Mikey gain control of himself. Thanks Melissa! (Melissa is Mikey's therapist.)

Over the next couple of weeks I will discuss some of Mikey's other therapies and his school. Meanwhile enjoy this picture of Mikey and a friend of his. :D

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