Why Kids Do What They Do


Oh my goodness, we have all worked with a child who just seems to react to everything in a negative way. They fight with siblings and are rude and resistant to caregivers, teachers and other adults. They frustrate us and become even more obstinate when we get angry.

But hold on. The truth is, something is driving this behavior. When we stop to consider that it may not simply be a child not wanting to do what we ask, we may discover that their are much more complicated things going on.

When we are able to see that a child is feeling anxious, we should be able to change the situation and change the behavior! This article in The Inquirer Daily News, the author, Julie Furst, a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow, shares her experiences with childhood anxiety.

We see it a lot. Caregivers are at a loss as to how to deal with difficult behaviors. When we talk with them, we often discover that the behaviors happen in very specific situations that may be triggers for a child’s anxiety. This is especially true when working with children who have suffered trauma. They may find transitions/change of any type very scary. They may seem to always want things ‘their way’. It may be that this is the only way that things feel safe to them. When we understand that the behaviors are ‘fear driven’ we are able to address them in a very different way.

Work with horses can be a very powerful way to address anxiety issues. Our clients learn and practice self-soothing/self-calming strategies. They discover that they can set boundaries that keep them safe. Their self-confidence grows as they begin to see themselves as ‘leaders’. And, we help caregivers develop the tools they need to manage the behaviors as well.

If you know a child struggling with behavior issues, you may want to consider what is at the bottom of the behaviors and seek the help you need. We are here to be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. We would be happy to schedule a visit to the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Call or email today!

Posted in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Bipolar, Children's issues, Depression, Mental Health, ODD, PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Teens | Leave a comment

Equine Therapy and Depression

We know that so many people are struggling with depression. From very young children to senior citizens, depression is now the leading cause of disability world wide.

This great article in Medical Express talks about how we can build resiliency through recalling good experiences and even gives some positive results from a study conducted by University of Cambridge and University College London. It is so important that our children, teens and even adults have the tools they need to stay healthy and happy and frankly, there is lots of evidence that work with horses can be a very powerful tool!

We see it all the time in our work. Horses offer so many opportunities for creating healthy and happy feelings and memories. This article from Equine Assisted Therapy – Australia, covers many ways that work with horses can help those struggling with depression.

Whether we are talking about a 4 year old who has been removed from their family due to abuse or neglect, a teen living through their parents tough divorce, an adult trying to recover from the loss of a loved one, or so many other life-events that can trigger depression, horses can be a powerful part of a good treatment plan.

If you or someone you know is struggling, seek help. We are here. Call or email and we will schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will introduce our herd, show you around the ranch, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

Posted in Addiction, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Bipolar, Children's issues, Depression, Eating Disorders, Grief, Mental Health, PTSD, Teens, Trauma | Leave a comment

Equine Therapy Has Far Reaching Benefits

We know this to be true, but it is always so moving for me to hear about how horses are helping people to heal and I often hear it in the most unexpected places!

While listening to NPR radio yesterday (11/29/18) I heard a story about a musician who had gone into rehab for serious addiction issues. Matty Healy is a driving force behind the band The 1975. In this NPR interview he talks about his addiction struggles and how, while in rehab he connected with a horses. He shares that at first he was a bit skeptical, but that in the end “… it eventually became amazing.”

Like I said, we know this is true because of what we see happening for the clients we work with. We work with children, teens, adults and even seniors. Our treatment team of Qualified Mental Health Associates focus on each client’s specific goals and objectives to help them find their path to a happier, healthier and more productive and fulfilling life, through work with horses.

If you or someone you know is struggling, seek help. Give us a call of send us and email and we will arrange a time for you to visit 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.

 

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The Benefits Are Undeniable

Though our program is not a traditional ‘Therapeutic Riding’ program working with people with physical and cognitive challenges, and utilizing ‘side walkers’ and ‘horse handlers,’ we do work with many children, teens and even adults on the autism spectrum.

This is a wonderful article, from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus,  on their study about how work with horses helps people on the autism spectrum. The findings support the Equine Therapy offers many benefits, including decreased irritability, as well as better social and communications skills.

Guess what? Along with our focus on each client’s individual goals, all of our clients receive these benefits too!

If you have a child or teen on the spectrum or who is dealing with social, emotional, behavioral or mental health issues, give us a call or send us an email to schedule a visit to the ranch. We will give you a tour, introduce our incredible herd of horses, learn more about what you are dealing with, and share how we might be able to help.

 

Posted in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Children's issues, Depression, FAS, Mental Health, OCD, ODD, Other challenges, Teens | Leave a comment

How Trauma Changes Us

We talk about the people who have died in shooting incidents. We talk about those who are killed while serving our country. We talk about those who lose everything in a massive wild fire. We talk about those who slip away due to addiction issues. These are all shattering events and we mourn those who are lost. However, we often neglect to consider the long term consequences for the ‘survivors,’ especially the children who may very well carry the aftermath of trauma with them for the rest of their lives.

In this fascinating article from PsychCentral, we can take a look at the physical changes that take place in the body and brain of those who survive trauma. They paint a grim picture, but do go on to say “…these alterations can be reversed.” but note that “…healing will be individual. There is no one-size-fits-all or personal guarantee for what will work…”

A lot of research has been done on how work with horses can help those struggling with PTSD. Here are a few studies that I think make the case.

*Equine‐assisted psychotherapy: a mental health promotion/intervention modality for children who have experienced intra‐family violence

*Therapeutic Value of Equine-Human Bonding in Recovery from Trauma

*Equine Facilitated Therapy with Children and Adolescents Who Have Been Sexually Abused: A Program Evaluation Study

The truth is, we know because we have seen the results for ourselves. Equine Assisted Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) can be a powerful part of the treatment for those dealing with the aftermath of trauma. We are here to help. If you, or someone you know, are struggling please seek help. Email or call and we will schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our incredible herd of horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

 

 

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Happy Holidays (Not Always)

Living with ‘special needs’ children and teens offers daily challenges but, after time, you figure out what you have to do to make things work.  Who cares if they have hotdogs for breakfast, always wears a blue shirt or can’t sit at the table for more than about 5 min.? You have figured out how to work around it and everyone gets along.

But we all know that in public or with people who don’t know our kiddos it can be challenging and it is easy to be embarrassed by their behavior when others start to be critical. This article from ADDITUDE Inside the the ADHD mind offers some great tips for dealing with these situations!  I would like to add trying to stay toyour daily routines as much as possible.  Structure helps kids and teens with special needs feel safe. The bottom line is do what works for you and your kids. Other people just need to deal with it!

One of the things we do at N.E.A.T. is help our clients (your kids and teens) learn to adjust to change and help them learn to problem solve when things do not go as they expect. This can help prepare them for all the day-to-day challenges they will face.

We are here for you. Call or email and we will schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our heard of wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU!

Posted in ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Children's issues, Depression, FAS, Mental Health, OCD, ODD, PTSD, Trauma | Leave a comment

YOU Can Make a Difference!

We are so proud of our partnership with the For Kids Foundation! This allows YOU to help kids in teens through your TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION to a N.E.A.T. Scholarship fund!

Through work with horses, N.E.A.T. provides social, emotional and behavioral growth and learning, as well as mental health interventions for children, teens, adults and even seniors.

To donate, you can mail a check to: 834 Willow St, Reno, NV 89502 and put N.E.A.T. in the ‘for’ space on the check OR you can simply go to their website (https://forkidsfoundation.org/), or their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ForKidsFoundation/ )and click on the ‘Donation’ button in the upper right hand corner and click in the box on the lower right side that indicates your donation is intended for N.E.A.T’s scholarship fund.

Your donations will help children and teens in Northern Nevada  find a path to a happier, healthier and more productive life, through work with horses.

Your TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION  will help kids and teens like ‘Samantha’. Samantha is the oldest of 5 children. She has always been ‘momma’s little helper,’ caring for her younger brothers and sisters when mom was busy doing other things and keeping them quiet when her father was in ‘one of his moods’. The family lived pretty rough when her parents finally split up. Samantha did all she could to help when her mom had to go to work. When mom remarried Samantha thought things might get better, but they didn’t. It started with her new step-dad being really nice to her, offering compliments and ‘cuddling’ with her, but that’s not where it ended. When Samantha tried to rebuff his attentions he threatened to leave the family or to pick one of her younger sisters to be his ‘favorite’. This went on for nearly a year before Samantha couldn’t keep it secret any longer and told a teacher what was going on. Her mom did not believe her and blamed Samantha when her step-dad was arrested. Samantha moved in with her grandmother, but was having a very hard time. She worried about her siblings, who still lived with mom and her grades fell. She became very withdrawn and had to be reminded every day to do simple thing to take care of herself. When Samantha first met the horses she spent a lot of time just brushing and hugging them. At first she worried a lot about whether they would remember her from week to week, but she has slowly built a strong bond with Mystic and is delighted when Mystic sees her and neighs a greeting. Samantha is slowly developing confidence and has begun to set appropriate boundaries so that she does not get stepped on or pushed around while working with Mystic. She has slowly begun to trust the human she works with too. The healing has begun.

ON BEHALF OF THE CLIENTS WE SERVE, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND GENEROSITY.

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The Power of Equine Therapy

More and more we are hearing about how people around the world are finding the incredible benefits of doing healing work with horses.

Whether in a ‘traditional therapeutic riding’ environment, a program that only does work on the ground, or in a program such as N.E.A.T. where we utilize a unique combination of equine interactions (a little bit of both!), work with horses is making an impact!

In this story from The Age (Australia) you learn about a young gal who experienced trauma, but has found healing through work with her horse, Humphrey. The program sounds phenomenal! I especially like how the article talks about “childhood trauma can affect the way the brain organises, including sensory integration (responses to touch, sound and other senses); relationship building; and the ability to regulate emotions.” and “Before some people are ready for “cognitive interventions” such as counselling, they need to learn how to handle more primitive feelings like fear, anger and frustration.” And horses are awesome for helping people work through these feelings!

Our clients, some as young as 4 years old, lead, groom and even ride ‘their’ horse. They learn and practice self-soothing and calming skills, that help them help their horse to feel safe around them. They learn to see themselves as leaders as they move a 1000lb horse around an arena, both on the ground and while riding. They problem solve working through any frustration ‘stop. Take a breath. What is it you are trying to get your horse to do? Is there another way to communicate what you want?’ This work is so empowering!

We are here to be a part of the team! If you know someone who is struggling with the aftermath of trauma, give us a call or send us an email. We will schedule a visit to the ranch. We will show you around, introduce out incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with, and share how we may be able to help.

 

 

 

 

and they are doing work that is right in line with what we do at N.E.A.T.!

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Your TAX DEDUCTIBLE Donation Will Help Children and Teens

Through a partnership with the For Kids Foundation, you can now make TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS to a N.E.A.T. Scholarship fund!

To donate, you can mail a check to: 834 Willow St, Reno, NV 89502 and put N.E.A.T. in the ‘for’ space on the check OR you can simply go to their website (https://forkidsfoundation.org/), or their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ForKidsFoundation/ )and click on the ‘Donation’ button in the upper right hand corner and click in the box on the lower right side that indicates your donation is intended for N.E.A.T’s scholarship fund.

Your donation will help children and teens in Northern Nevada dealing with social, emotional, behavioral and mental health issues, find a path to a happier and healthier life through work with horses.

Your TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION will help kids and teens like ‘Derek.’  Derek’s mom had a gambling addiction. By the time it was discovered the family had lost their home. Mom was unable to face what she had done and abandoned her family. Derek’s dad has managed to hold things together, but Derek and his younger sister have had a rough time. As kids often do, Derek wonders if it was something he did…Derek is withdrawn, has few friends and really does not enjoy much. He is a smart kid, but you wouldn’t know if from his grades. But Derek has always loved animals and he has responded well to his work with horses. He has picked the biggest horse in our herd and is starting to really connect with ‘his horse’. He is smiling again and his teachers report that he is always happy to tell the other kids about his horse. The healing has begun.

ON BEHALF OF THE CLIENTS WE SERVE, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND GENEROSITY.

Posted in Addiction, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Bipolar, Children's issues, Depression, Eating Disorders, FAS, Grief, Mental Health, OCD, ODD, Other challenges, PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Schizophrenia, Sensory processing issues, Teens, Trauma | 2 Comments

A Closer Look at Anxiety

As I have shared before, most of us experience some anxiety in our lives. We get anxious when we are running late, or maybe when we have a big project/assignment due. We might have some anxiety when we have an unexpected expense that impacts our budget. Or perhaps we are trying something new and, though we are excited, we are also a bit anxious. Anxiety can impact young and old alike. Some anxiety is reasonable and normal but there can be a darker and more troubling side to anxiety.

This article in Medical News Today provides lots of great information about everything from types of anxiety issues to ways to help prevent anxiety.

Work with horses can be a powerful intervention for those dealing with anxiety. The article talks about relaxation techniques, replacing negative thoughts with positive and getting exercise. Our clients learn and practice self-soothing/calming skills, such as deep breathing and visualization. The process of grooming their horse can be a soothing time of gentle repetitive motions. We encourage them, in times of stress or anxiety, to remember how it feels when they are with their horses and may even give them a picture of their horse to carry with them. Additionally, our clients get gentle exercise while leading, grooming and riding their horse.  And of course this does not even touch on the ‘therapeutic’ parts of the intervention.

I love the articles ‘Takeaway’ – “Anxiety itself is not a medical condition but a natural emotion that is vital for survival when an individual finds themselves facing danger” and this is part of the message we share with our clients. Being anxious or worried may be justified. What is important is how you deal with these feelings.

If you or someone you know struggles with life limiting anxiety, seek help. We are here to be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Call or email us and we can schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share with you how we may be able to help.

 

Posted in Addiction, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Bipolar, Children's issues, Depression, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, OCD, ODD, PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Teens, Trauma | Leave a comment