Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Horseback Riding Therapy (Hippotherapy)

Griffin started his horseback riding therapy at local organization that works with children with disabilities and they have the greatest group of volunteers that are so well trained. They all have such a heart of gold and really do it all for the love of the children and for the love of the horses, it is really apparent.

Griffin rode the horse, Danny, and he was a handsome and spirited horse but not too much so that he couldn't ride him. But you could just tell that Danny was full of life and that he wasn't just some old farm horse that was about to be put out to pasture. Griffin did the exercises that he was supposed to do, as he was instructed to do, but he kept getting upset a bit about the flies and the gnats in his face and kept shooing them away with his hands in the air. I really wish that I could put a longer video on here so that the video of Griffin on the horse trotting could be viewed. He laughed so hard when the horse trotted, it was so adorable that one could not help but to laugh as well. He had everyone else there laughing right along with him.

I had spoken to the psychologist about how to better help Griffin with his communication/vocabulary and he told me to describe things that I saw him do and attach an emotion to it for example: I saw the horse talking to you and when he did you looked surprised. And I was to give three examples of things I saw him do in order to give him enough information to give me an answer when I asked him the question: What did you like the most today about your horseback riding? I gave two more examples: I saw you trotting on the horse and you were laughing and looked very happy. I saw you shooing the flies away and you looked angry.

So, when it came time to ask Griffin what he liked best about his horseback riding he had more information to work with since I had just given him some examples of what he session had been like. A bit of a reminder of what he had done so he had more to work with in his vocabulary. He answered me with, " I like trotting the best, I had fun trotting on the horse." What a success that was just for him to answer me was huge! For Griffin to reach inside and find the words to work with like that and for me to have helped him find the words is fantastic.........what a gigantic success that was I just can't stress that enough!

Griffin just has significant delays in communication and to know him is to know that Griffin struggles on a daily basis with being understood when he speaks and he gets frustrated because he has to repeat what he says so many times because even his own mother often finds it hard to understand him. But with the speech therapy coming along nicely I really think that it is helping him to annunciate his words much better little by little. I am so glad that we found this new group at P.T.S. because if not for them then Griffin would be still sitting in speech coloring pictures and just repeating sentences over and over not getting anywhere as he was at his old therapy group. I think that with the new speech pathologist's help and the help of the psychologist, not to mention a lot of help from mommy....Griffin will come a long way in his communication but we will just have to take it little by little and not have great expectations in the beginning, we must do it slowly and gently.

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