Saturday, February 24, 2024

Try to Ride Program for Families Dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder Launched

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The Grey Bruce Chapter of Autism Ontario and Hope Haven Therapeutic Riding Centre launch their new partnership with the implementation of an introductory riding program, Try to Ride, free for families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Markdale and surrounding areas in Grey and Bruce.

Try to Ride offers a unique opportunity for children with ASD to experience horseback riding through a distinctly designed program that is tailored to address their special needs including sensory acclimatization.  The kids get to develop physical communication skills and as a result their cognitive concepts will naturally improve.  They learn new strategies for balance and spatial orientation through their bond with the horse.

We are excited about this project as it reinforces our own vision to create a community that provides a welcoming and safe haven for people to try new experiences, form connections and explore their potential,” said Executive Director, Therese Defoy. 

The four week Try to Ride program kicks off on Wednesday, August 12 at 6:00pm until 7:30pm and is designed for children ages 5 – 15 on the Autism Spectrum (other date options are available via the website).

The willingness of organizations to develop programming that is inclusive for children and youth with ASD is a huge success for our Chapter,” stated Jennifer Miller, Chapter President.  “Often families dealing with ASD are so overwhelmed and intimidated by extracurricular activities that children miss out on experiences that can help them grow and develop socially and emotionally.  We hope this is one of many partnerships that will support inclusion. We need to work together to help the families dealing with Autism get the support required to enable individuals with ASD to grow to become productive members of our communities.” 

Autism is a neurological disorder that effects the functioning of the brain.  According to the National Epidemiologic Database for the Study of Autism in Canada, the Canadian prevalence rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder is 1 in 94.  The CDC based in the US estimates 1 in 64.  In Ontario alone, there is an estimated 199,000+ individuals with ASD and perhaps most importantly, there are over 2,750 people with Autism in the Grey Bruce Region. 

Autism Ontario is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact. The association and its chapters share common goals of providing information and education, supporting research, and advocating for programs and services for the autism community.

Hope Haven’s mission is to provide a transformative experience through our distinctly designed programs for individuals with disabilities and their families.  Our programs are tailored to address the needs of each individual in the areas of health improvement, personal growth and education.

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