ADHD and empathy

kids arguing croppedNew research shows that people with ADHD have a harder time considering the perspective of conversational partners. This not only inhibits effective communication, but may adversely affect a persons ability to bond and maintain meaningful relationships.

We often hear that the clients OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe work with who are struggling with ADHD feel lonely and do not have any friends. In our work with the horses we teach our clients about horse and herd behavior. They are encouraged to see things from the horse’s point of view. This is actually very important. If the horses is worried about a ‘horse eating’ plastic bag blowing across the arena, they are going to be a lot less cooperative. We will often “what is your horse looking at? What do you think he is thinking?” Just yesterday, we had a client riding in the covered arena during the high winds. There was a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbig door rattling and occasionally even sand blowing over the building’s roof. I pointed out to the client that, though we know what is causing the noise, her horse may think that something is trying to break in and get him. I encouraged her to pet her horse and to talk softly/soothingly to him. Later in the session client did this again on her own when the wind caused things to rattle again. This client was learning to feel empathy and respond to the emotional needs of her horse.

If you know someone, a child, teen or even adult who is struggling with personal relationships work with horses may be able to help. Call or email us to schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce you to our wonderful horses, learn more about the challenges you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

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