April is World Autism Month

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by Cheryl Donnelly

World Autism Awareness Month aims to put a spotlight on the hurdles that people with autism face every day, and creates an opportunity to consider how to best support these individuals.

Victory Time Farm Therapeutic Riding has been providing Equine Therapy to Autistic Adults and Children since 2011. We provide therapeutic riding to individuals from North Grenville, Brockville, Kemptville and the Ottawa Area. The program relies solely on volunteers to provide an important therapy program to support the Autistic individuals in the community.

At this time when Provincial Funding for Autistic individuals is in transition, the need for financial donations and support is crucial. Victory Time Farm Therapeutic Riding, a non-profit organization, is appealing to the community for donations to ensure the future of the program. The program provides a safe and positive environment for riders, increasing their self-confidence, communication skills and attention span, as well as many physical benefits. However, farm upkeep and general care and feed for the therapy horses comes at a significant cost. Please consider donating to this important program, supporting therapy needs for Autistic adults and children in our own community. You are invited to visit a Go-Fund-Me campaign:

Our Go-Fund-Me account is: Victory Time Farm Therapeutic Riding, or by visiting our website: www.VictoryTimefarm.ca.

Benefits of Equine Therapy and background

Equine therapy is excellent for addressing key symptoms affiliated with autism: communication and social skills, lowered sensory skills, motor skills, and response to verbal cues and external stimuli. When you ride, you develop a bond with your horse and they become familiarized with your movements, attitudes and emotions, which make them extremely effective in bonding with an autistic person, encouraging communication and interaction. Autistic individuals learn to focus on something outside themselves and learn to communicate and interact by responding to verbal cues from the instructor.

The goal of the program at Victory Time Farm Therapeutic Riding is to provide a safe and positive environment for riders to experience the joy of horses and horsemanship, at a pace that is comfortable for them. By providing the right environment in nature, sensory overload for the Autistic or Asperger’s individual is reduced. The benefits include increased attention span, improved self-esteem, confidence as well as many physical benefits.

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