July 12, 2012
Southern Tier Alternative Therapies has been such a blessing for many individuals with an assortment of disabilities in our rural Upstate NY area. Being a teacher of children with autism, I learned of STAT as many of my students regularly attend riding lessons at the nearby Fargnoli Farms. Looking for a place to volunteer and intrigued as to why so many people flock there I contacted Linda. Immediately I feel in love. The other volunteers are so welcoming and are from all walks of life, the horses are simply amazing, and of course the kids are witty and wonderful. This meaningful volunteer opportunity has allowed me to be part of a wonderful team and has helped to bridge a gap between school and therapy. The Therapeutic Riding sessions focus on meeting a variety of students’ needs including, but not limited to, additional academic practice (recognizing letters, colors, and sight words, practicing propositions, knowing right vs. left, etc), balance and motor planning, increased communication (via more eye contact, waving hello, verbally greeting others, or using the iPad or Dynavox to facilitate conversation via STRIDES), addressing sensory needs and eliminating basic fears or anxieties. Progress is forward, noticeable, and ongoing. I am incredibly grateful to STAT for paving the way for such positive opportunities. I wish you continued growth and success in all the years to come!
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