This is an amazing story. I’ve oversimplified it here, but have provided links below to both a short video and an article that gives more detail.
A young boy, Rowan Isaacson, is diagnosed with what may be autism.
When he’s three, his father discovers that his son has an amazing connection with a neighbor’s horse, a Quarterhorse mare named Betsy. Around Betsy, the boy’s tantrums stop, he begins to speak lucidly and he even (for the first time) talks of loving another creature.
The boy and his family go to Mongolia where they embark on a journey to Northern Mongolia, the last place on earth with Wild Horses and where shamans — traditional healers — are available to work with this boy. After the trip he is considerably changed. While he still has many of the characteristics of autism, he is better able to express himself, has fewer tantrums and is more connected to the world.
The book about his family’s experience The Horse Boy: A Father’s Miraculous Journey to Heal His Son is published by Viking and will be available on April 14th.
Read more about this story and watch the video below.
6 thoughts on “Can the Human-Horse Connection Help Autism?”
Autistic children make up the majority of clientele of my local therapeutic riding center. I definitely think there is something between horse and human whether it is the rhythmic movement of the horse or that some autistic people think more like animals than people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Grandin
They also have a film in the Sundance Film Festival about their trip to Mongolia.
This is such a lovely report. There is no doubt in me that relating to a horse can produce something that heals.
I went to hear Temple Grandin speak on a book tour a number of years back…she is quite an accomplished woman.
oooooh excellent! I explored a little of this concept, but as usual, you found the really really good stuff!
I think we’ve probably long underestimated the potential therapeutic effects of the human/equine bond and it’s uplifting to read how this little boy’s life has been enhanced by spending time with horses.
However, I can’t help but notice that it was stated that the boy was “diagnosed with what may be autism.” Did he receive a definitive diagnosis from a psychologist that specializes in developmental disorders? It’s a very KEY point.
Here’s some shaman wisdom: enlightment: Wow, Another tickle your ears ambiguous story about non authentic autism. This kid wasn’t really autistic. What were his underlying mental issues? If it’s not swimming with dolphins it’s riding horses to smoking weed to eating gluten free cookies. Oh yea, that’s the answer folks. No prob. Get educated please. Go to you tube and search under: ‘autism epidemic out of control” for a reality check on what’s going on with “autism” It’s a serious disorder and these fake new age cases are a slap in the face to all parents who are dealing with truly autistic children. When will the media ever get this right? They just don’t get real autism. They keep slobbering over these silly juvenile new age stories that have nothing to do with the realities of true autism.