Students with autism meet therapy horses
(Fort Myers, FL January 4, 2013) – Special Equestrians therapeutic outreach team visited the students at Eden School in Fort Myers on Monday, December 17. Students with autism were able to groom and interact with two Pet Partner horses.
“Equine therapy has been known to increase independence, communication, and self-confidence in individuals with autism,” said Jan Fifer, executive director of Special Equestrians. “Special Equestrians has been providing therapeutic horseback riding for 25 years in Southwest Florida. We recently expanded our outreach program so we could share the unique experience of equine interactions with individuals throughout our community.”
“The horses were gentle, patient, and calm,” said Cari Pusateri, Education Coordinator at Eden’s Fort Myers school. “Many of our students have never been able to touch or brush a horse and this was a wonderful opportunity for them. We appreciate the Special Equestrians volunteers providing this experience for our kids.”
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 88 children in the United States, and one in 70 boys. The prevalence of autism has increased 600 percent in the past two decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
About Eden Autism Services
Eden Autism Services Florida was founded in 1996 to address the state’s growing need for specialized services for children and adults with autism and their families. Eden Autism Services' mission is to improve the lives of children and adults with autism and provide support to their families by providing a range of community based services to meet specific needs throughout the lifespan. These services include K-12 schools in Fort Myers and Naples, clinical services, consultations and community training, and adult residential, vocational training and employment services. For more information, contact Taire Malloy at 239-992-4680, extension 5014 or Eden.firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Special Equestrians:
Special Equestrians, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which helps children and adults with disabilities by providing a structured therapeutic horseback riding program and equine assisted activities. For more information visit www.specialequestrians.net or call 239-226-1221.