At a recent Horse Boy Camp in the Texas Hill Country 3 autism families came together to spend a fun-filled weekend in nature with a team of Horse Boy horses and volunteers.
The camp took place at a beautiful private ranch which boasts two playgrounds, hot and cold showers, accommodation in tents or a real tree house and miles of hiking and riding trails including an awe-inspiring but easily accessible canyon.
Activities on offer included riding, painting the horses, grooming and sensory work, guided walks, arts and crafts and of course one of the biggest highlights of the weekend - a two hour zip lining session.
In the evenings the Moms relaxed together around the camp fire whilst volunteers helped the kids roast marshmallows and the Dads tackled the grill.
And this is really what a Horse Boy Camp is all about. Providing a place where autism families can support one other in a non-judgmental environment safe in the knowledge that their kids are happy and that there are plenty of eyes looking out for them.
And with divorce rates amongst autism parents at an all time high and siblings increasingly experiencing feelings of anger and frustration a weekend like this can be invaluable to an autism family. And we have the data to prove it. A recent pilot study conducted in conjunction with UT Austin showed that attending a Horse Boy Camp has a significantly positive effect on marital relations, sibling relations and family functioning and general.
And this of course is ultimately of benefit to the child.