“Chalking it up. That’s what parents often do to explain away their children’s behavior when they don’t understand. He loves to build things and take them apart, so he must just have an engineering mind. He prefers to be alone and removes himself from group activities – he must just be introverted. He’s having prolonged and frequent “meltdowns” – must just be temper tantrums. He’s acting aggressive towards other children and adults – must just be the famed “terrible twos”. Then the terrible twos become the terrible threes and terrible fours. Other parents try to assure you that their children “do that too”, but in your heart, you know that something is different about your child.
You never forget the day you realize your child has a lifelong challenge to overcome, and you cannot keep “chalking it up.” Our son, Collin, was having another meltdown, but this one was different. We gently restrained him as he furiously tried to harm himself and others for over an hour. Then, like a light was switched off, he went completely limp. He laid motionless, just staring off into the distance as we stroked his hair and assured him that everything would be okay. We looked at each other with tears in our eyes and knew, for the first time, that Collin was struggling with something that we did not understand. We didn’t have a name for that something but we soon would – autism.
With mixed emotions we began the journey of learning about autism and what resources were available to help Collin cope with daily life. Collin continued to suffer as we desperately searched for something –anything that would help him. That’s when we learned about equine therapy and StableStrides. Having spent years of trying new things that did not help, we were skeptical about this approach. Hearing one after another success story convinced us to give it a try, so we signed him up at StableStrides and hoped for a miracle.
Every week we watched Collin ride around on his therapy horse and wondered if it was working. The change was slow at first, but after the first eight-week session Collin had made undeniable progress. He was calmer, more attentive and focused. The violent meltdowns downgraded in intensity and frequency. He began listening more and taking direction. When it came time to decide if we should sign him up for another session, there was no decision to be made. This was working. Finally, something was working.
Collin continues this therapy today and the results are astounding. The experience we’ve had with StableStrides has absolutely been the beneficial impact we hoped for. We have seen undeniable development in Collin’s ability to self-regulate emotions, communicate more effectively, focus and complete tasks, and develop friendships. As of a few months ago (January ’23) Adaptive Riding is the only therapy Collin continues to receive. It has helped him so profoundly over the years that the other therapies are no longer necessary. We could not be more grateful for the staff, volunteers, and horses at StableStrides for brightening our Collin’s world!”
Jason (Collin’s Father)
To continue to help provide life changing services and help another child like Collin, please donate today to help change the life of someone in our community.
With your donation of the below-listed amounts, you are eligible to receive FREE StableStrides apparel!
Donate $100 = Receive a FREE StableStrides T-Shirt
Donate $250 = Receive a FREE StableStrides 1/4 Pullover
Donate $500 = Receive a FREE StableStrides Vest w/custom name embroidery
Donate $1000 = Receive a FREE StableStrides Jacket w/ custom name embroidery
*Apparel will be ordered at the end of April 2023 for pick up/shipment In May 2023*