Horsepower For Autism

Autism is the real elephant in the room that can no longer be ignored.

Autism is one of a group of serious developmental problems called autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that appear in early childhood -- usually before age 3. Some children show signs of autism in early infancy. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life but then suddenly become withdrawn, become aggressive or lose language skills they've already acquired. Children with autism generally have problems in three crucial areas of development -- social interaction, language and behavior. But because autism symptoms vary greatly, two children with the same diagnosis may act quite differently and have strikingly different skills. In most cases, though, severe autism is typically marked by an inability to communicate or interact with other people normally.

The number of children diagnosed with autism is rising. About 1 in 68 children, 80% being boys, have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Three years ago the number was 1 in 82. While there is no known cure for autism, intensive early treatment and therapy can make a big difference in the lives of many children with the disorder. Autism including other neurological and metabolic conditions is now more common than Down syndrome, childhood cancer and juvenile diabetes.

I hope that you can join me in the battle against Autism and other early developmental afflictions, as the grandfather of a very special boy, with very special parents, who are faced with such a challenge every day.

Communication and interaction with horses can bring remarkable results. We have such a program already on Prince Edward Island called HorsePlay PEI at the Handybear Hills Horse Sanctuary. Your donation to Autism PEI will go to support the Horseplay program operated by Helena Reeves together with the horses in the sanctuary and their caregiver Yogi Fell.

Your subscription to PM Online will not only provide funds to facilities like the Handybear Hills Sanctuary but perhaps encourage others worldwide to develop their own Horses For Autism programs.

Contact Information

Handybear Hills Horse Sanctuary
Yogi Fell
Horse Play PEI Facebook Page

Autism Society