Dear Paul & Autism Radio,
My son is 6 1/2 years old and was diagnosed as autistic at the age of 2. Sean has been non-verbal most of his life, but in the past year has finally started to say a few words. We are so happy with his progress and so thankful to his amazing school and to the many therapists he sees on a weekly basis (ABA, PROMPT Speech, OT, PT & Speech).
In addition, since the age of 4, Sean has been taking therapeutic riding lessons with Colleen at Equine Tranquility Wellness Center in Andover, NJ. When Sean first saw Colleen and Zoura, his wonderful horse ... he needed two side-walkers, he did not verbalize at all, he had difficulty following directions and he didn't like to touch Zoura. Now Sean will verbally tell Zoura to walk, rides with little support from one side-walker and loves to give Zoura kisses and carrots! Therapeutic riding has been a great learning tool and social experience for Sean.
Sean had to stop riding over the summer because we just could not afford it anymore. Then, I received a letter about Autism Radio and the amazing things you were doing for those in the autism community. It mentioned that you provide financial assistance to families with autistic children for therapeutic riding lessons and I applied immediately. Within a few days, I was told that my application had been approved. I actually started to cry. We, as a family, are struggling everyday to give Sean what he needs and the financial burden can become extremely overwhelming. Autism Radio has relieved some of that pressure. So, I am writing this letter as a thank you and to just let you know how much your generosity is appreciated. Autism Radio is an amazing organization that is actually touching the lives of those living with autism ... what an amazing gift!
With sincere thanks and appreciation ...