So I’m getting ready to do this blog and I go in to review the articles I have set aside to read. The first article “Autism Costs Average $17,000 yearly for Each Child…” appears on MedicineNet.com and talks about the hight cost of providing services for children on the spectrum, stating the largest part of this burden falls to schools providing services for children with special needs. I’m thinking ‘well that’s interesting’ but then I look at the next article I have saved “Autism: Four in 10 Children ‘Illegally Excluded'”. This article appears on Sky NEWS and talks about how thousands of children are being excluded from school in a variety of ways…
Wow! What a complex issue. The truth is that with the right kinds of intensive early interventions, all children with autism will be able to function at a higher level. However, what this ‘higher level’ is varies from child to child.
By intensive early interventions I’m not talking about a child sitting in a special education classroom for 6+ hours a day. I’m talking about hours and hours, day after day, of specific interactions that helps reprogram/rewire the brain to function in a more traditional way. Yes, this kind of program costs money. But what is the cost of doing nothing?
We need to rethink the classroom experience we are offering to children on the autism spectrum. Is there something that we can be doing that has a better cost to outcome ratio? I can tell you that the status quo is not working. Which is what the second article is talking about. Most schools do not have the right programs in place and are floundering, sending kids home and excluding them because they just don’t know what to do to help them (though this may be kinder than assuming that they don’t have or are unwilling to spend the money to provide the right kinds of services.
We work with a lot of kids and teens on the spectrum. We have seen schools doing a great job and schools struggling to do the job at all. We have attended IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings and partnered with the schools to support them in our work with the students in their classrooms. We also work with Behavior Analysts or other licensed professionals to help implement the client’s treatment plan.
Through work with horses we can address impulsive behavior, lack of focus, poor problem solving skills, impaired emotional tolerance and much more. Clients learn to lead, groom and ultimately ride their horse while working on the issues they need help with. Because it is non-confrontational and non-judgemental (plus fun!) kids are much more likely to be engaged. We feel that our program is very successful in working with kids and teens on the spectrum. Check out our ‘testimonials’ page to see what families and educators have to say.
If you know or someone you know is living with a child on the spectrum, we would love to share more with you about how our program may be able to help. Call or email to schedule a visit. We’ll show you around, introduce you to our wonderful horses and learn more about what you are dealing with.