John's* First Words
Five Years Old. Moderate Autism ... He Said His First Words!
"I once worked with a five-year old boy who was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. He was non-verbal and sensory defensive. Though he communicated with some sign language, he was not speaking yet. He was having regular meltdowns when faced with challenging new sensory experiences.
When he began riding, it was challenging at first, but once he realized that he enjoyed the movement of the horse, it was clear he was soothed by it. His parents reported that he began to explore his environment more, where he had been reluctant to experience new things before. They also reported that his meltdowns had decreased significantly--to the point that they did not want to miss his riding sessions.
Eventually, one day when asked to tell his horse to 'walk-on,' with his voice, he said his very first verbal words: "WALK ON!"
-- Heather Hernandez-Sedillo, M.ED.,
Reining Strength Therapeutic Horsemanship.
* Name has been changed and stock photo has been used to safeguard the privacy of our client