Today we are so much more aware of how we can help kids with autism lead a rich and full life. For many, early interventions lead to much higher functioning and the ability to integrate into mainstream situations. Additionally, most neuro-typical people are more aware of what autism is and are usually more accepting and less critical of others who may be living with this condition. This is especially true for those who are high functioning. Accommodations are made and we see more and more kids/teens reaching for their highest potential.
They graduate from high school, maybe go on to take college classes and perhaps find a job. But, sadly, a new study finds ‘nearly half of adults with autism will experience clinical depression in their lifetime’. This article in The Conversation points to the fact ‘…that depression is more common in individuals with autism who have higher intelligence’. This does not seem surprising to me, as with higher intelligence comes greater self-awareness, which would simply emphasize the personal challenges to be faced by someone on the spectrum. They are more aware that they are ‘different’ and that they don’t always ‘fit in’.
We need to be vigilant and offer lots of opportunities for those on the spectrum to engage life to the fullest. Finding ways to boost self-confidence and self-esteem are vital. Helping them build better self-soothing and problem solving skills will help them throughout their lives.
Guess what? These are all things that can be accomplished through work with horses! At Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy we work with children as young as 4, teens and even adults on the spectrum. From overcoming anxiety in a new situation, to learning to read the horses body language and experiencing the surging self-confidence as they learn to ride, our clients blossom through the work they do with their horse.
If you know someone on the spectrum who needs some additional support or encouragement, give us a call or send us an email. We will schedule a visit for you to the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.