Every form of Autism is unique. There are many cases of Autism that are similar – similar symptoms, similar patterns, similar family background. However, it all boils down to the fact that people are different – so each Autism case will be different. Each and every story is very inspiring. Alexis Diaz’s story is no different.
Alexis is ten years old and has severe autism that prevents her from speaking and doing independent tasks that we often take for granted. She is unable to feed or bathe herself, and in addition she lost one of her eyes due to cancer.
Last year, Alexis was enrolled in the Therapeutic Riding of Texas (TROT) program, and made significant progress. The local news stations banded together and paid $700 for Alexis to attend the sessions.
Horse Therapy has been around for quite some time and there have been benefits noted in children with ADD and Autism. The mere act of being around a horse can change brainwave patterns — people feel more calm, at ease, and focus less on the past or negative events – so it’s a very enjoyable experience for them. Children with ADD/Autism Disorder have benefited as they are often unable to effectively communicate with other people and express themselves. Even those who are more aggressive and have severe behavioral issues have shown positive benefits from horse therapy. Even being around the horse has made these people much calmer, and more willing to communicate and be receptive.
How and Why Does Horse Therapy Work?
Horses behave in a way that is a direct reflection of how they’re being spoken to. They’re an animal of prey so they want to feel safe. If they’re being spoken to an an aggressive, angry or demanding way, the horse will become fearful. If the horse is spoken to calmly, smoothly and by making requests, they’ll be very receptive and obey such requests.
Children are ideal candidates to work with horses because with just a little insight on how to communicate with the horse, the child can learn how to change or control his/her behavior and see the effects from it. The child is more likely to consider this more of “making a relationship” with the horse rather than trying to dominate the situation and be in constant control.
After Alexis’ great outcome from her last TROT visit, she was very excited to head back this March. This year, however, the charity wasn’t sure if they would have the funds available to send Alexis back to the program. Alexis’ family is also on a limited income as her mother, Tammy Stewart, is a single mother who is unable to work due to Alexis’ need for 24 hour care.
Her attending the TROT program was almost definitely out for this year due to funding.
This past week, an anonymous letter was sent to Duncanville Outreach Ministry. Inside the letter was a $700 donation that was to go toward Alexis’ registration to this year’s TROT program. The donation was in the form of a Money Order with no return address. It simply said: “Sincerely, a Duncanville citizen who wishes to remain anonymous.”
Autism’s logo – a puzzle peice — is all too appropriate. Autism itself is a puzzling disorder. It comes in so many different forms, with many different symptoms. There are many treatments available, and twice as many opinions about these treatments. It boils down to what methods and treatments work for your child.
Over the course of this blog, we’ve taken a look at a lot of different treatment options. Something we pride ourselves in is making you aware of everything that’s out there, so you can have the information necessary to make decisions based on what’s best for you and your situation.