Program combines passion for horses, helping others

Program combines passion for horses, helping others

Great Support for our Veterans!

Cindy from The FARM

1 / 3 Jayne Bradford’s husband served as a marine, and retired from law enforcement. Her son served in the U.S. Air Force, her nephew in the U.S. Navy. “I have some pretty close personal acquaintance with people dealing with PTSD, and experiences related to service-induced trauma,” she said. […]


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New test captures subtle social difficulties in adults with autism

Testing Theory of Mind - deficits often occur with autism spectrum disorders.

A new test can assess theory of mind — the ability to understand others’ mental states — in adults with autism. In the test, people with the condition interpret scenes in a video for white lies, jokes and irony.

Many people with autism have difficulty grasping what others think or feel. But most tests of this ability are designed for children.

Curated from Spectrum authored by Bahar Gholipour


The FARM responds:

So why is this important????  This is a big area of disability for people with autism!  And with testing theory of mind – you can see what deficits that need addressing.
Pretend that you cannot tell when anyone is making a joke.  You just don’t get it.  Not a big deal?  Well, what if you cannot tell if someone is screaming “Fire” to be funny?  I don’t think the police or the fire department would appreciate a “false” alarm.
Wikipedia defines the theory of mind as “. . . the ability to attribute mental states—beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc.—to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one’s own.”  This often leads to misunderstandings like other people believing that the adult with autism is self-centered or selfish.
Autistic children and adults often have to specifically learn skills that we pick up naturally as we grow up.  If you have an autistic employee or friend in your life – talk to them if they do something that annoys you.  They may not even realize it at all.  Communication is always the center of all types of relationships.
Cindy from The FARM

Autism therapy bill stalls in Alabama Senate


autism can be a puzzle to put together a program that will help an individual

Legislation that would require health insurers to cover an intensive autism therapy has stalled in the state Senate after passing the House of Representatives unanimously.

The House on April 20 voted 100-0 to mandate coverage of applied behavioral analysis therapy, also called ABA therapy.

. . .

Parents, such as Catey Hall of Birmingham, said they fear time will run out in the session.

Curated from ABC 33-40 by Associated Press


The FARM responds:

Unbelievable!  I thought Alabama was finally going to get this settled with the new autism therapy bill. According to the Autism Society of Alabama, Alabama is one of 5 states in the United States that do not require that insurance companies provide ABA autism benefits.  FIVE !
And guess what?  Alabama is one of those listed.  For shame!  For an insurance company to deny benefits they must:
  1. deny the condition exists; or
  1. deny that the therapy is proven to work;
HELLO ????  ABA therapy has proven to work in scientific studies for decades.  I can see the denial of benefits for nutrition, and vitamins. Even for equine therapy (as all of these are new therapies that haven’t been proven yet).  But Applied Behavorial Analysis?  Sheesh.
I thought that this was taken care of in 2012 with the passage of  Act No. 2012-298 but apparently not according to Autism Speaks, that autism therapy bill :
. . . only require insurers to “offer” the coverage and then charge an additional or higher premium if the policyholder accepts.
Some parents may have insurance
Even if this new bill (which does mandate ABA coverage) fails, there is still some good news for Autism parents in Alabama. Those who have insurance through United Healthcare (fully insured small and large group plans), may have benefits.  Beginning Jan 1, 2017 they will now have full ABA benefits.  So if you have UHC, the Autism Society of Alabama recommends you check your plan.
And if you have an Obama-care plan covering your children?  Looks like there is no ABA coverage, nor is there coverage under Alabama Medicaid.  This information comes from the Alabama Austism Society.
Let me know if you live in Alabama and HAVE found decent, affordable coverage for your child’s therapy.  I would love to know what insurance companies are stepping up to the plate – and which ones aren’t.
Cindy from The FARM

Rutgers program supports adults with autism

Craig Lillard of Princeton is learning new job skills thanks to the Rutgers Center for Adult Autism Services.

According to Rutgers, an estimated 1 in 68 children nationally — 1 in 45 in New Jersey — is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Through high school, children with autism can get tutoring, mental health services, transportation and other resources to accommodate their unique needs, but once they leave the public school system, services diminish dramatically, leaving adults with little support outside of their families.

On Friday, state Senate President Steve Sweeney visited the center, where he learned about the center’s mission and programs, as well as met with Lillard.

“The Center for Adult Autism Services is working to accomplish something that I think everyone agrees should be our top priority,” Sweeney said. “It allows adults with autism to live as fulfilling a life as possible. We want everyone, no matter what challenges they face, to reach their fullest potential. This support can make a real difference in their lives. This is really very impressive. We really need these services throughout the state.”

Curated from authored by Susan Loyer


The FARM responds:

This sounds like a program that is needed nationwide.  And I agree, everyone deserves the chance to be able to have a fulfilling life.  Our society trains the children with the expectation that they will have a job at some time in the future.  Why don’t we have the same expectation for our Autistic children?

There was nothing in my son’s “transition plans” for HOW he was supposed to attend college – other than to contact the college’s support services.  And there was nothing in the “plan” that addressed what to do when the “plan” didn’t work.

I wonder how many of the older homeless people in our country are actually adults with autism.  Once the parents or relatives die, who looks after them if they aren’t able to work?

Cindy from The FARM

New business offers therapy through horses

New business offers therapy through horses

HAMBURG — Diane Simon M.S. CCC-SLP, owns a company called Pedia-Rehab Inc. which provides speech-language therapy and “equine assisted” therapy services to children and adults. Now, after moving to Georgia for nearly a decade, this vital business is back in Sussex County. In 1994, after she graduated from William […]


Moms empower children and adults with autism (KTRK)


The CDC says autism affects one in 68 children, and it’s the fastest growing developmental disability.

The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders says autism costs Americans $68 million each year.

Now two Houston moms want to help decrease that number by teaching their sons to contribute.

Denise Hazen and Wendy Dawson say it isn’t a lack of intelligence, it’s a lack of training and social support that hinders autistic adults, and these moms want to change that.

Curated from ABC 13 Houston, authored by Rebecca Spera


The FARM Responds

Some other moms who have decided to take the reins and teach their autistic adults a way to become self-sufficient.  Way to go, gals!

Cindy from The FARM

Conference helps young adults with autism find employment

“Utah is a wonderful community. We have a great safety net. We have a lot of families,” Mackay said. “You can’t throw a rock without hitting a family that has a young adult with autism.”
Autism Conference Utah autistic adults face an 80 percent unemployment rate.

Mackay said those with disabilities are at a 65 percent unemployment rate whereas autistic adults face an 80 percent unemployment rate.

“That is literally thousands of people in our community,” Mackay said. “They really do have an opportunity to move forward in life, contribute to the community and not be socially isolated and really living in poverty over their lifetimes.”

Curated from Fox 13 Salt Lake City, authored by ELIZABETH SUGGS,

 The FARM responds:

This article points out the REASON why we are taking the situation in our own hands. Why we will be training our son to work on a farm.  A farm does not have the high stress factor that comes with having to interact with the public. You usually don’t move fast or have to think fast.  Farming also involves a lot of routine which Autistic people usually thrive on.  And even if he doesn’t find farming is his career choice, he will learn a lot of skills. These skills will help him to become self-sufficient.  Examples — growing a garden, building a shed, digging up trenches for water lines.

Cindy from The FARM

Don’t Forget to Bring Carrots for Your New Therapist

Neighhhhhhh — Your new Therapist is a HORSE !

How Does Horse Therapy Work?


The newest therapy partner might surprise you.  Oh, I forgot to mention, you might also want to wear a pair of steel-toed boots too for your next therapist session.  I hope you like – horse therapy.

Horses are now being used for therapy purposes. Horse Therapy can be used for Physical Therapy or Emotional Therapy, horses are great stress busters.Try a horse for your next therapist and answer the question How Does Horse Therapy Work?
Yum !

Welcome to equine-assisted psychotherapy at Berkshire HorseWorks, where people tackle their mental-health issues by getting up close and personal with thousand-pound hairy beasts with whiskers.

It’s an unusual way of dealing with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, so unusual that some insurance companies balk at paying for it, and some critics charge that there’s scant evidence that it works. But the therapy is so popular that more than 700 programs worldwide have specialists certified . . .  Deseret News,  Why your next therapy session might include a horse,  Jennifer Graham, March 27, 2017

Hippotherapy, Horse therapy or Equine Therapy

For the last several years, horse therapy or hippotherapy has become more and more popular.   What is this?  The term can involve  people riding horses for physical therapy benefits.

Many children think of riding as a pleasure.  The kids don’t realize that the motion of their body on a horse is increasing their core strength.  So “working out” for them is fun.  Which means that the children like to do it.  It’s a win-win situation because several therapeutic riding facilities use rescue horses.  Once the horses are rescued, they are retrained to be therapy horses.

Equine Therapy Does NOT Always Involve Riding the Horse

Recently, horse therapy has evolved to on-the-ground activities.  This may involve leading a horse around obstacles.  A client might be in charge of grooming and/or feeding horses.  And other activities that a therapist might come up with short of actually getting on the horse.

For the last 16 years, horses have been used at the Betty Ford Clinic in Minnesota.  There is No riding.  Though getting hands on with the horses IS part of the treatment. Most of the patients are there for addiction reasons. But the clinic also uses their unique therapy services to address other issues as well.  Mental health, wellness and military/ family issues can all be addressed partially with equine therapy.

Autism Therapy

What I am interested in is autism.  And I’m tickled that equine therapy is also being recognized as an option for autism spectrum disorders.

Georgia has a cute little farm called Butterfly Dreams Farm where autistic kids can have fun.  And riding the horse is part of the therapy.

Research results that back up the anecdotal evidence

Horseback riding interventions have therapeutic benefits for people with disabilities. Wolters Kluwer Health

Several studies have just been published that concludes that there is a positive effect to horse riding.  These studies involved  patients with physical disabilities.  Further scientific studies will have to be done to prove that the emotional and mental benefits of equine therapy is not just “theoretical”. And the answer to the question, How Does Horse Therapy Work? , will be definitive.


I believe we are on the right track with our son “B”.  Now to find a therapist in our area that we can work with until we get our facility up and running.  Of course you must remember that’s our decision as a family.  Our son is 23 and hasn’t had a lot of “autism” therapy as he was identified extremely late.  Your family and your situation may be different.

For more information on Equine Therapy please keep checking back as we will be posting a lot of articles on this subject.


What do you guys think? Is our theory of training our son in farming a right decision?  For those of you who have adult autistic children — what have you found that was helpful in your situation?

Please, comment below.  And if you want to keep track of our progress, please let us know by signing up below.  Thanks for visiting !

Horseback riding interventions have therapeutic benefits for people with disabilities

How does Therapeutic Horseback Riding Help?

Therapeutic Horse Riding -- more benefits than just getting fit - This article explains how does therapeutic horseback riding help?

Physical activities incorporating horseback riding can help to improve strength, balance, and other outcomes for children and adults with a range of neuromotor, developmental, and physical disabilities, according to a report in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Sourced through from:

The next time you need physical therapy – perhaps look into a therapeutic horseback riding center.