The number of people diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum has increased significantly. We must find ways to help these individuals lead healthy, happy lives. This starts with providing early intervention services, but is really a lifelong process of creating situations where they can find inclusion and are able to reach their highest potential. It is exciting to see new opportunities for each person to have a happy, healthy and productive life!
This Forbes article looks at what is happening in the workplace to create an ‘Autism-Friendly’ environment. The article shares that there are many steps, from helping those on the spectrum to develop real skills, such as writing a resume, to interview, but that this is only a small part of what needs to happen. There are physical accommodations as well as training for all staff on what it means to be someone with developmental differences and how to make them feel safe and valued. The article really is inspiring in that it gives good, solid examples of how we can make room for everyone!
There are many ways to help those on the spectrum become more comfortable with the world at large AND to help neuro-typicals understand and accept that different does not mean wrong or bad. Early interventions are very important and at Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy, we work with children as young as 4. We may focus on staying on task, learning and implementing self-soothing skills, learning to read social cues ‘Ruby has her ears back and her head is very high. What do you think that means?’ and how to deal with a variety of sensory situations (smells, the way a horse’s coat feels) among other things! At any one time, we may have 2-4 clients working side by side, with their own Qualified Mental Health Associate, so clients may also learn about appropriate social interactions. Work with horses can be a powerful intervention!
N.E.A.T. works with children, teens and even adults on the spectrum. Through work with horses we want to help each client reach their full potential. If you know someone on the spectrum who might benefit from what we have to offer, call or email and we will schedule a time for you to visit. We will show you around, introduce the horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we might be able to help.