Autism: Equine Therapy

Horses are magnificent creatures. Horses are gorgeous, intelligent, and capable. Having the advantage of being around horses has done wonders for me. I’ve learned a lot about reading thoughts and feelings by watching their body language. Unfortunately, it’s not the same as humans. Humans are much more complicated and I’ve learned that a shrug, for example, doesn’t always mean “I don’t know”.

Horses have taught me a million things, but the most important thing I’ve learned in my experience is that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Particularly given my current level of anxiety, the tranquil environment surrounding horses is imperitive in my own success, not to satisfy my obsession with horses, but to continue to learn and understand that there is nothing to be afraid of. The simplicity of a horse’s feelings, emotions, and reactions along with the complication of their bodies and altering behavior, introduces a while new light on autism.

Personally, horses have taught me many things, including how goals are executed, how to read certain feelings and respond accordingly, and they even introduced a sense of bravery without which I’d find myself still locked away from the world, afraid of any sort of contact beyond the walls that held me safely for so long.

Today, I am able to go outside with little question, drive myself places I need to go, have a conversation over the phone or in person, order my own food, and other seemingly simple tasks that I never thought I would be able to do. However, on a bad day, when my brain is a scrambled, confused, anxious mess, I find most of these seemingly simple tasks damn near impossible.

The only thing horses seem to lack in is direction. But that’s like getting in a car and expecting it to magically drive you to destinations. It doesn’t work like that. Good horsemanship is maintaining a place higher on the heirchy than any horse. Fear, submission, exception. These things will get you run over, stomped on, kicked. A horse with no respect for a person could be dangerous. The only thing I can’t seem to get out of horses is instruction. Horses, as herd animals, require instruction, which thankfully, can be learned, as I have done. But their way of providing instruction is by taking advantage of the weak.

Instruction, or help, guidance, is a thirst for which I am parched. My throat aches for a sip, though I am afraid to drink. Seeking professional help with autism has not gone well for me in the past. Since I had given up, I decided all I need is horses. But there are some things horses can’t teach. I finally broke and requested help. Today, I wait anxiously in the queue.

For the most part, I think horses are a fantastic means of breaking free of the autism ball and chain. However symptoms are always subject to remain or return, I think exploring the equine world is still wonderous in conquoring some of the symptoms that cause complications in everyday and long term life.

For anyone with autism or knowing someone with autism, I highly recommend equine therapy. If you’re looking for a solution, then you’re doing wrong by autism. In my opinion, autism is a gift and a curse. It takes a strong person to learn to live with autism. On bad days, though, I myself find autism the worst fucking thing I could have possibly been cursed with. Either way, learning horses is a great way to strengthen strengths and weaken weaknesses.

Nike, a beautiful black thouroughbred, came in to my life a few years ago. I’m ecstatic to have him back in my life today. Nike is with a small newborn rescue whose determination to save every horse is a true inspiration to me. I recently began a campaign to save Nike, the beautiful black thouroughbred,  in hopes of providing him a healthy life and promising future. I hope everyone feels the same for him and would support him at http:// http://www.crowdrise.com/SaveNike.

I also hope people living with and around autism and similar social disorders consider horses as a means of strength encouragement. I would love to answer any questions in hopes of helping autism, horses, or any variation. Hoping for the best!

image

A Quick Intro to Autism

I tried to think of something nice to say about Autism as I created this blog… dedicated to Autism. I couldn’t.

But then I thought, why should I? I can’t think of anything relatively good or relatively bad about Autism. Matter of fact, fuck pros and cons. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is NOT a disability. ASD is simply a difference, a subspecies of neurotypicals (NTs, people without Autism).

ASD is a different way of thinking, a different way of acting, and a different way of life. One common symptom of ASD is extreme interests, or obsessions in things or hobbies.

Personally, I am happy with my Harry Potter obsession. I am overjoyed with my obsession with Slim Shady. My obsession with Autism, however, I just find ironic. I think it’s like a person being overly fond of his middle toe’s cuticle. Talking about it. Tatting it. Marrying it. Whatever. Ironic? No, bad example. Weird.

Anyway- ASD is generally defined by the holy trinity: social difficulties, repetitive behaviors, and obsessions.

Social difficulties in ASD are often attributed to difficulty in understanding body language and intent, which is apparently nine tenths of the law when communicating with someone. As far as I’m concerned, when a person is talking, that person should say what they mean. No hints, “small” lies, or any of that other bullshit.

Repetitive behaviors in ASD includes everything from hand gestures to scheduling. For instance, a wrinkle in my schedule is a domino effect. Soon, I’ll find myself quite unreasonably upset, shit all out of whack, like an apocalypse in my brain.

Obsessions in ASD usually means a limited interest. People with an ASD generally have a small range of interests. With the interests we do have, we take them very seriously. I, for example, am highly offended over any negative comment toward Slim Shady. I can’t usually tell if people are joking or using sarcasm, but that is hardly the point. Don’t fuck with Slim.

The holy trinity of ASD isn’t the entirety of ASD. There are several other symptoms to the disorder, and no one person with an ASD will ever have all the symptoms. People with an ASD tend to differ greatly. This, I find interesting. How can two people with the same disorder be so different? Well, I found, “spectrum” is the key culprit in this scenario. When placed on a spectrum, any spectrum, such as a ruler, one point could be pinned at 4.2677 inches. Another point could be pinned at exactly 11 inches. They are two completely different measurements, even being on the same unit. While one person with an ASD cannot function without assistance, another can be considerably independent, struggling mostly with, maybe, social complications.

On a more exciting note, I made a fart joke a few days ago. I could not stop laughing. Holy shart, it was hysterical.