(1% indicates location in the Kindle version of the book, instead of page numbers.)
Excerpts from the book...
Part One –
1% April 2004 my son, Rowan, was diagnosed with autism. The feeling was like being hit across the face with a baseball bat.
Grief, shame – this weird, irrational shame, as if I had somehow cursed this child by giving him my faulty genes, condemned him to a lifetime of living as an alien because of me.
…Of watching, horrified, as he began to drift away to another place, separated from me as if by thick glass, or the see-through barrier of dream.
I had to find a way into his world, into his mind. I found it, amazingly, through a horse, Betsy. But let’s start at the beginning.
1% …Kristin was a suburban girl from California and I was British, born to southern African parents, brought up partly in the center of London, partly on a remote farm, training horses.
…I met her…in southern India, in the town of Mysore. I’d been hired to write a guidebook to the region
2% …we embarked on seven years of high adventure: through the more remote corners of India, then to London. …then to southern Africa for another guidebook contract, and finally –
…to return to the United States to finish her degree.
I went back and forth between the United States and Africa, researching a book on my family’s bizarre connection… to the Bushmen of the Kalahari, and writing about their strange culture of healing through the use of trance and their struggles to regain their hunting grounds.
“Seven years to the day,” I whispered aloud. “Welcome to the world, Rowan Besa Isaacson… What adventures have you got in store for us?”
Like all new parents, we projected our own dreams and desires onto our kid, and we projected hard.
I told myself I wouldn’t push him to become a horseman. But I was lying, of course, already imagining how I’d teach him to ride, share adventures on horseback with him.
< My Thoughts > “…we projected our own dreams and desires onto our kid…”
Sicile-Kira (2014) confirms that… “The idea that this is not the life you dreamed of…not the family you had hoped for is more that can be borne.”
“Feel angry! You have a right to be. Learn to refocus your anger… You are now entering a world you know nothing about, hearing new words that sound foreign. There is a solution: start learning the terminology and the subject, and little by little you will become knowledgeable. And knowledge is power.”
“Every company has a plan of action. Whether you are dealing with the school district, the medical profession, or social services, planning should now be a part of your life. All the decisions you make are about reaching the dream or vision you have for the future.”
2% When Rowan was eighteen months old, Kristin, as a physiologist trained in child development, and I began to become a little worried. Rowan wasn’t pointing. Nor had he added any words to his limited vocabulary, beyond echoing back bits of dialogue from the kids’ videos he watched.
Nor did he show his toys to people, as many infants do. When someone said his name, he would not look around.
He could say 'Toy Story,' when he wanted to watch the video for the eight hundredth time that day. But he couldn’t say ‘Mommy’ or ‘Daddy’ or ‘Hello’, or ‘I’m hungry,’ or ‘Can I have’ or ‘Yes’ or even the usual toddler’s staple – No!
< My Thoughts > “He could say ‘Toy Story,’ when he wanted to watch the video for the eight hundredth time that day.”
Sonny is non-verbal, but he lets you know in no uncertain terms that ‘Toy Story’ must be on all day, in order for him to function. We even have a portable player hooked to the front seat headrest, so he can watch Toy Story in the car. They are Sonny’s family. He becomes ‘animated’ with them, looks at them for hours, even coos to them and pats the TV screen. Whatever works to engage him…is my motto! And, who am I to deny him that comfort, that enjoyment?
In fact, he sleeps better if it plays all night long. Sometimes he even laughs in the appropriate places, while sound asleep! Some kids with ASD like ‘Thomas the Train' or ‘Elmo,’ but for Sonny it’s Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Of course he has all of the story’s action figures, pictures on the wall, board books, pillows, bedding, curtains… he lives in the world of ‘Toy Story’… “To infinity and beyond!”
When he was eight or nine years old, it was pre-‘Toy Story’ and all about Pinocchio… the wooden marionette who’s wish is to become ‘a real boy’. Was it because Sonny already sensed that he sensed a connection? Or, was I just projecting?
In thinking about it, I looked for the similarities in the movies. They both have wonderful music, animation, and story development. But what delighted Sonny?
Then, I got the idea that perhaps it was because both Pinocchio and Woody start out as silent toys, only to become a ‘real boys’ through the love and attention of others.
Pinocchio learns what it means to be human, to be loved and the true responsibility of his actions. Woody learns that he is loved and won’t be abandoned. Okay, I’m projecting again…
3% One minute he could be happily lining up his toys or playing with the garden hose (obsessive about water too), or even asleep; the next he’d be screaming, half in rage, half in seeming agony; sometimes for hours. Why?
Something had to be wrong – but we never considered that it might be autism.
…he was so emotionally connected. He looked you in the eye. He came to us, arms outstretched, for hugs. Friends reassured us…
Until one night, when Rowan was about two and a half, Kristin went upstairs, got on the computer, and typed in “autism, early signs of.”
Rowan had good eye contact. Apart from that, he had every single sign.
< My Thoughts > “Rowan had good eye contact.”
In my travels through the literature, I’ve read that mixed in with the autism traits are strong personality traits. So, I’m thinking that if your child – without autism – would be outgoing and charming… he would likely have strong eye contact when interacting with others. ‘Thespian’ traits, so to speak. This ‘may’… just ‘may’ explain why some children with ASD naturally make eye contact and that might throw some parents and educators off the autism trail, in the beginning.
3% Kristin went into overdrive… We’d need two independent assessments from two different child psychologists, another from a neurologist, and a fourth from the school district’s special education coordinator.
4% Our assumption that Rowan would share a life of adventure with us was firmly dashed. Instead life had suddenly become a mechanical drudgery of driving from one therapy and assessment appointment to another and dealing with reluctant insurance companies, therapists, and Rowan’s every mounting, inexplicable tantrums.
Sometimes his rages would be accompanied by projectile vomiting, like that of the child in The Exorcist. The glue of passion that held us together was starting to come undone.
< My Thoughts > “…rages would be accompanied by projectile vomiting…”
Sudden vomiting and diarrhea are things you will see in the ASD population. Again, try functioning as a detective, so that you can give a physician who will listen, good clues which will help the diagnosis, tremendously. Do the rages and vomiting seem to be a result of stress, or anxiety? Does the child seem to have acid reflux, spastic stomach, celiac disease, or what? Many children with autism are helped with medication for acid reflux. Others need a special diet to combat celiac disease. Does it happen all the time, or just some of the time? Can you start documenting when it happens, what and how much (time and volume)… not fun, but very helpful to the doctors.
Unfortunately, it may become a trial and error situation. The doctor may try a remedy for the most likely problem first. If the child doesn’t get relief then you move on to the next ‘best guess.’ Sonny went through a period of having acid reflux…but we eventually had to stop that medication because it interfered with the efficacy of his seizure medication. We added some dietary changes… he does well on Almond Milk instead of dairy… and so far so good…very few problems with acid reflux.
4% Through our cyberspace trawling we did discover the likely cause of these strange, overwhelming tantrums – that they were probably neurological in origin; his nervous system was almost certainly overactive.
Autistic brains, it turns out, have a much greater number of nerve cells than ‘neurotypical’ brains. The result for the child can be extreme sensory overload.
A breath of wind on Rowan’s cheek could feel like fire from a flame-thrower. The fluorescent light of a supermarket or day-care facility could look like lights of a ‘strobed’ light at one million times a second.
His clothes or bedcovers could suddenly, if the wrong neurological switch was thrown, feel like lead weights or burning napalm.
Knowing this helped us to understand a little of what we were dealing with.
< My Thoughts > “…the child can be extreme sensory overload.”
Ashburner, J. et al. (2013), in an article about sensory issues and targeting self-regulation intervention allows that…
“Children with ASD have differences in processing language, auditory and visual information entering their brains. Their sensory profile can be determined by questioning the child, if they are verbal. “You are covering your ears? What makes them hurt?” “You are rubbing your eyes?” What makes them burn?” Of course the child may not identify what it is, but you can probably figure it out.”
The article explains the Sensory domains as –
“Sound sensitivities…scraping sounds, clock ticking, high-pitched sounds whistling, baby crying, or hair dryers. But the ASD child will make their own irritating (to us) sounds over and over again.”
“Visual sensitivities…bright light, flashing lights, TV and computer screens. But the ASD child will look at patterns and moving fan blades until forever.”
“Taste sensitivities…chemical smells, sour foods, some vegetables and cheeses. But a child with ASD will only eat those foods they crave, regardless of how it seems to us. Or, crazy combinations like pickles and ice cream.”
“Texture sensitivities…rubbery, crunchy, rough, tags and seams on clothes. But a child with ASD will shovel in chips and French fries, non-stop. They will rub, lick and smell the carpeting in their room.”
“Smell sensitivities…cigarette smoke, animal smells, perfumed products. But a child with ASD will like to smell your cup of coffee or tea.”
This information from Ashburner’s article lets us begin to see the sensory troubles that children with ASD could face.
5% One day Kristin had a brainwave. She got on the Internet and ordered about two dozen animal posters for Rowan’s room, because names of animals seemed to be what he recited the most.
Rowan was overjoyed, jumping up and down, clapping his hands, and laughing with delight as soon as he went upstairs that night.
Within a couple of evenings Kristin was starting to make up stories about the animals each night as she and Rowan lay there together.
“Once upon a time,” she began, “There was a little boy called…”
“That’s right, darling. That’s you. And one day Rowan was walking in the woods behind his house when he met a very nice Gemsbok Oryx riding along on a bicycle…”
Animals and nature were what motivated him. That much was clear.
< My Thoughts > “Animals and nature were what motivated him.”
Sicile-Kira, C. (2014) tells us, “Individuals with autism often become fixated on a single thing, such as trains or airplanes. Use the strong motivation of the fixation to encourage activities. If you can identify the strengths you can focus and build upon them to motivate learning, to create opportunities to expand them to possible future interests.”
Yes, Kristin was able to kick-start Rowan’s imagination. She recognized her opportunity to draw Rowan into a world that they could share, the world of animals.
6% Kristin was able to build upon Rowan’s interest in animals… she helped him to engage, to use language and tell stories. Rupert took him to the zoo and eventually to the neighbor’s horse farm. All of these activities and their implications were extending the child’s boundaries and abilities.
6% Rowan obviously hated…therapy and regarded it as inexplicable punishment.
< My Thoughts > “hated…therapy”
According to the book, on this day Rowan was having Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), although they had also tried Speech and Occupational Therapy for him.
6% When the session was over, I took him for a walk, wanting to clear both our heads. One moment I was sauntering behind him as he trotted along the familiar woodland trail, the next I was sprinting in sudden alarm as he swung unexpectedly left through the trees in a direction he’d never taken before, out of the woods and into the narrow belt of rough pasture that separated our property from my neighbor’s horse pasture.
Quicker than I could make up the distance, Rowan was through the wire fence and in among the small herd of four horses, who happened to be grazing right there on the other side.
… he threw himself on the ground, belly up, right in front of the alpha mare, the herd leader, a big bay quarter horse called Betsy.
Any sudden movement – his or mine – could spook the horses leaving him trampled and broken on the ground.
I knew the mare. She was quiet to ride, but famously grumpy.
She stood stock-still, as did the other four horses… Then she dipped her head to Rowan’s soft writhing form, so close and so dangerously exposed to her hammer-hard hooves. Dipped her head, and mouthed with her lips. The sign of equine submission.
Then I cried, the tears coming silent and unbidden on that humid June day, because I thought: “He’s got it. He’s got the family horse gene." But he’s autistic. I will never be able to teach him to ride.
It’s stunning how wrong a parent can be.
< My Thoughts > “I will never be able to teach him to ride. It’s stunning how wrong a parent can be.”
When introducing something new to your child it will often be met with a negative reaction…but our autistic kids have to process things at their own pace. He may not do it today…but he’d be happy to do it tomorrow. Then too, there are the disappointments parents and teachers face. He did ‘it’ happily yesterday, but refuses to do ‘it’ again today. So, you start over at square-one, another time. Or, just become content in the knowledge that he did it ‘once’.
Or, you may to be surprised someday in the future. Years ago, I taught Sonny how to do simple hand-jive while waiting in line. That worked well for a while, getting him to wait, and then suddenly he refused to do it. Until lately, while waiting for me to get off the computer… he tried to rush me and distract me by clapping and then suddenly doing the hand-jive from long ago. Well, he may be developmentally delayed, but no one ever said he wasn’t smart, clever, or crafty! Smiles.
9% The first time I took Rowan to the barn to saddle Betsy up, he ran amok…
…yelling and screaming and swinging his Woody and Jessie dolls around and around in both hands…
(I kept saddling Betsy) tightening the cinch and grabbing at her lower lip as I slipped the bit into her mouth.
“Do you want to get up on Betsy?” I asked him, not expecting a response.
It was the first time I’d received a direct answer to a direct question. I bent down, scooped him up, and put him in the saddle.
His grin was so wide it seemed to stretch off the sides of his face and into the air on either side.
I put my foot in the stirrup and swung up behind him.
“Go!” said Rowan, impatient. “You want Betsy to go?” “Go!” he confirmed. This was amazing.
10% At first these verbal leaps forward happened only on or immediately around Betsy.
But with Betsy he was a different kid. Within a couple of weeks he began initiating word games.
… I was amazed by what he knew. “I” is for impala. “X” is for X-ray fish. I knew that was in one of his language books, but I had never known if he’d been taking it in.
< My Thoughts > ‘Generalizing’ from Kristin’s intervention with the animal posters is evident here. This was a big step for Rowan.
He was initiating word games, taking poster words and incorporating them into word games with Kristin and Rupert. The ability of a child to use skills learned in a functional or academic setting and use them spontaneously in a different setting is another form of ‘generalization’. For typical children this is an easy task, but others find it difficult. Then, Rowan calling the name of the ‘poster’ animal, when he sees it in the zoo, takes the ‘generalization’ skill to another level. This is considered ‘community-based’ learning or understanding. By taking him to the zoo, they increased his opportunity to transfer this skill to a new setting this one out in the community.
12% And though the time spent on Betsy was pure joy, much of the rest of the time dealing with Rowan and his tantrums and his incontinence was pretty hellish.
But we did have each other…
… we began to bicker…over who spent more energy dealing with Rowan…me with the hours and hours on Betsy, Kristin with hours and hours reading.
…and fighting her own exhaustion in trying to get him to go to bed.
Then she had a brainwave. “We need time off,” she said. “Great idea,” I said sarcastically.
Christmas came and, two days later, Rowan’s fourth birthday: a time to reflect.
In the eight months since his diagnosis we had been trying all sorts of therapies: chelation (administering agents in order to remove heavy metals from the body), Valtrex (an antiviral drug), speech therapy, occupational therapy, changes to his diet – just about anything that wouldn’t hurt him.
… but there had been no obvious, radical change for the better, except through Betsy and, I remembered during his brief exposure to the healers and shamans he had met at the Gathering.
< My Thoughts > “…met at the Gathering.”
Shaman ‘gather’ together to summon the spirits of their ancestors. These spiritually charged ‘gathering’ ceremonies originated in prehistoric times and are said to be a cosmic time when medicine men and women perform miraculous healings and other divinations
“Nergui stood in the centered, swaying from side to side, chanting, “Great sky, please come here.” His eyes were closed, and he gripped a cluster of multicolored cloth strips. His voice was rough and the melody repetitive, like an ancient ballad: ‘Oh, great blue sky, which is my blanket, come to me.’”
13% … I could not help but wonder: if he had more regular access to such healers or shamans, might he get boosted again?
And then Betsy – without question, that had been a miracle. Might there, I wondered, be some way of combining these two things – horses and shamanic healing? Was there a place in the world…? A place that understood the interplay between horses and healing…
… in my blind man stumbling way…did such a place exist?
Mongolia. The place where six thousand years ago, the horse had first been domesticated. A country where… Shamanism along with Buddhism, was the state religion.
What if Rowan’s autism, instead of shutting down our lives, could be a gateway to the greatest adventure of all? What if that were possible?
What if we were to take Rowan there? Get on horseback and ride across that vast, primordial Mongolian grassland from shaman to shaman?
< My Thoughts >
When dealing with autism, it is no surprise that families searching for the perfect quest, rise to different levels of inspiration and different levels of hope. In their eyes they feel that they have to “do” something… take action, right or wrong.
13% “Rupert! We have an autistic child – a child who can’t even control his bowels, let alone his tantrums! And you’re saying that somehow we’re going to fly to Mongolia, get on horses, and ride from shaman to shaman?
While Kristin dismissed it… I began to dream – and to plan.
14% …Rowan was growing so fast that in another year or so he might no longer be able to sit comfortably in the saddle with me.
17% The book proposal (requiring a trip to visit Mongolian shaman) I had sent out had been accepted. The trip would not bankrupt us after all, a few days later my proposal was accepted. We were going to Mongolia.
18% Through a series of contacts I began an e-mail correspondence with a tour operator, a man called Tulga, who reputedly specialized in unusual, back-of-beyond trips. After some initial correspondence, he came back to me saying that he had heard of very powerful healers among the reindeer-herding people in the north.
Part Two –
17% The adventure begins. Rowan sat with his nose pressed to the Aeroflot window watching the countryside below gradually disappear…
I turned to Kristin, “Are we crazy?” “You’re crazy, I’m just along for the ride,” she said giving me an ironic smile.
“I am mad, aren’t I?” I asked. “Bonkers. Barking. Woof-woof.”
“I’m the king of Pride Rock,” announced Rowan… bestowing his most beneficent beam upon us. He was quoting a line from The Lion King – one of his obsessively watched cartoons.
< My Thoughts > “He was quoting a line from The Lion King”
There are stories out there of families who have learned all the parts to their child’s favorite Disney musical, just to have a way to interact with their son or daughter for a brief and very special time. Talking in different character’s voices can bring a child to attention, even when your normal voice does not. Sonny responds to me when I sternly say, “I have a laser and I will use it!” from Toy Story.
19% … he came forward with his hand outstretched, “Hello”, he said. “I’m Tulga, welcome to our Mongolia.”
I saw Tulga sneak a worried look at Rowan, as the reality of what it might mean to have to escort an emotionally and physically incontinent autistic kid for four weeks, into some of the remotest parts of the remotest country on this planet, sank in. My heart went out to him…
We filed through immigration under the gaze of uniformed officials to the reception area. There, tall above the rest of the crowd were Justin and Jeremy, two friends who had been persuaded to come along and handle the sound and a second camera, in case our other cameraman friend Michael should fall ill.
20% I don’t know quite how I had pictured our arrival in Mongolia. Straight off the plane and onto the steppe, I guess with caparisoned horses waiting for us just beyond the baggage claim…
22% We drove through the crowded, dirty city center with its rundown Soviet-era architecture… But gradually the trash petered out; its thinner, more edible bits nibbled on by sheep and goats and disappeared from view.
23% The van stopped; Tulga threw opened the door. We had arrived.
“River!” shouted Rowan, grabbing his animal bag and skipping out of the vehicle and away…
I took a look over my shoulder and saw that Rowan already had his toy animals out and was splashing them in the shallows of the stream, Kristin and Jeremy watching over him.
26% After the first ceremony)… Kristin and I sat down on the grass, rubbing at the red and purple welts, quite unable to believe what we had just been through.
“Oh,” said Tulga, “they are ready. We must go over there.” (Pointing towards the shaman…)
“Okay.” Once again, I scooped Rowan up on my shoulders. “Let’s go see some more shamans!” said Rowan, from up top.
29% The light rain began to intensify once more... “The gods are happy” Tulga was translating… “The rain shows that the Lords of the Mountains have accepted for Rowan to be healed. It is a very good sign.”
“More shamans!” Rowan shouted, as I took him in my arms and put him in the van. “More shamans!”
31% “Code Brown!” I shouted, which sent Kristin darting into the van to grab the small blue plastic bucket, brush and two-liter bottle of water… “Gotta get all clean…” Rowan whined.
< My Thoughts > “Code Brown!”
Before the healing by the shaman, Rowan had trouble controlling his bowels.
33% Eleven hours after leaving Ulaanbaatar, the road finally dwindled into little more than a goat track winding across a highland valley between low, grassy mountains, and gave out at last in a sort of vast natural amphitheater or bowl.
“Horse!” Rowan skipped down and out of the van… towards a horse that stood tethered to a pole…
I lunged at a stiff-footed pace and scooped him up. “We don’t know that horse, Rowan. Best wait to say hello till we know it better.”
The brown-and-white animal, a handsome beast, nickered softly at Rowan. I could tell it was a high-strung animal, one that might knock Rowan down. The soft look, the Betsy look, came over its eyes, the lids half closing, the expression gentling. It started to mouth, to lick and chew. Down went the head. Submission: to Rowan. …Crazy. Yet here it was happening again.
34% That evening in darkness, we lay on sheepskin, the same ones we would be putting over our saddles for the long, long horseback hours that would start tomorrow.
35% A horse’s whinny came pealing down the wet-feeling, cool wind. Several horses of different colors stood a short distance away.
36% These I presumed were the horses we would be riding today and for the next few days.
Soon, we mounted up and headed off – to see the Reindeer people.
40% I reached into the van, grabbed Rowan and swung him up on board Blackie. His wail of protest died, replaced by a giggle. “Fast, go fast! I kicked the little mare into a canter. I couldn’t run the poor horse forever, especially since we’d have many, many miles to cover before the day’s end.
43% (Several days later). I’d genuinely thought I’d designed the trip around Rowan’s needs. He needed to get out of the saddle and play or rest. I was a fool.
I spoke to Tulga. Would we lose much time if we took a break and let Rowan rest? We agreed, one day of rest then one more day of riding.
49% (That night at camp…) “Hey, Rowan, want to go for a walk with Daddy and see the stars?” “Walk with Daddy!”
Out walking in the Mongolian night together, his small hand in mine, surrounded by stars and silence.
We stopped, the hill too steep now for comfort, to breathe it all in.
“There was a very small boy,” said Rowan suddenly, his voice disembodied in the dark.
“A small boy?” I echoed.
“A very small boy. He went on an adventure.” “Shamans,” Rowan continued, his little voice like music in the dark. “Whack, whack, whack on the back” …My son was telling a story. The story of his own shaman experience. I was stunned.
50% “You are telling me about your adventure, Rowan that’s amazing.” “He giggled, Rowan’s adventure.”
84% “So,” Tulga said, translating as Ghoste began to speak. “He says there are some things you should know before you head back.”
“Last night was good. Rowan accepted the healing. That was the important part.”
85% “And now he says that we should go,” said Tulga.
“All right. Please tell him thank you from us.”
“He says…” Tulga looked nervous. “He says that yes, Rowan will be getting gradually less and less autistic till he’s nine.”
“The toileting problems, the tantrums. Those will stop, now.” “Now, from today. Yes.” Kristin and I looked at each other, not knowing what to say.
89% We made it to the river crossing in record time next morning, flying along at a gallop beside the broad brown water at Rowan’s behest.
However, the time had come to say goodbye, and Rowan – not to be denied now that his beloved leopard-skin pimpmobile had suddenly reappeared – had already ensconced himself with his animals on the passenger seat.
“May the good changes in your son continue.” And with that we were off, bumping and lurching once more…
91% The next day, we had to hang around for hours waiting for the flight to take us back to Ulan Bator airport, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Still no tantrums.
…the kind of thing that a few weeks back – no, a week back – would have sent Rowan into conniptions. A different child. He even used the airport potty for another indoor poop. Who was this boy?
92% But there was one final piece of the journey left to complete. I had arranged weeks before to go to one of the places, Hustai, where the original wild horses of Mongolia, known as the takhins, or “honored ones,” still grazed the steppe.
93% We pulled up, got out, and saw them: a herd of nine stocky tan horses with stiff white manes, white noses, black stripes on their backs and on their legs, and muscled compact bodies. Completely unlike any domestic horse I had ever seen.
So, standing together on the steppe, hand in hand if not heart to heart, we faced the wild herd, eyes shut, conjuring our internal prayers…
“Thank you, Lords of the Mountains, Lords of the Land for healing our son. He’s so much better. I can’t believe it. Thank you.”
< My Thoughts >
The following was retrieved from: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/shamans/stern-text
Masters of Ecstasy – Written by David Stern
“Adherents swear that it is genuine, recounting life transformations and miraculous cures. In 2007 author Rupert Isaacson and his wife, Kristin, took their five-year-old son, Rowan, who has autism, to a Tsaatan shaman in Mongolia named Ghoste. When I spoke to Isaacson recently, he conceded that he can’t prove that the shaman helped his son – all he can do is point to the change that occurred almost instantaneously: “When we went out,” he said, Rowan was “incontinent, had tantrums all the time, and was unable to make friends. And when he came back, he was without those three dysfunctions.” Rowan continues to do better.”
End of excerpts from the book: The Horse Boy with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker
< My Thoughts >
How many of us have the courage or the wherewithal to take our child to Mongolia to be healed by shamans. But of course we would like to. I included this book because to me it seemed so uplifting and magical.This excerpt is just the beginning of this family's adventure. Please find the book on My Home Page with a link to Amazon for purchase.
As parents, we can look around us to see what we might be missing. There are groups which do horse therapy, drum therapy, music and dance therapy, swimming with dolphins, and even healing mud baths. Who knows, there just may be that exotic moment when our child connects with something magical. It may not be a cure-all, or happen repeatedly, but if it happens once isn’t it worth it?
We took Sonny to an Indian Pow Wow which was open to the public. People said…”Okay, now that’s one of your crazier ideas!” But you know what? Sonny ate a whole fried taco and danced in a Tribal Circle of Dance with a beautiful Indian Princess. Just the memories alone were worth the fear of failure. Smiles.
Resources for parents on:
horseboyworld.com and kidsmustmove.com
REFERENCES used in < My Thoughts > are:
Ashburner, J. et.al, (2013). Understanding the sensory experiences of young people with ASD: A preliminary investigation; American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
Sicile-Kira, C. (2014) Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised): The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism; New York, New York: Penguin Random House Company.