Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations,
Children & Youth,
Youth Development Programs
To provide and promote educational, therapeutic, athletic and recreational services for individuals with disabilities and to provide educational and recreational activities using horses and the working farm environment for people with and without disabilities.
Programs: 1) Challenge Unlimited recreational therapeutic riding program: serves approximately 350 individuals weekly in an included program that uses horses and the farm environment to teach life skills. Challenge Unlimited works with people diagnosed with 22 different disabilities including: autism, Aspergers syndrome, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder, developmental disability, mental handicap, Downs syndrome, Williams syndrome, Aperts syndrome, Huntington's disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, seizure disorder, heart disease, and hearing and visual impairment. Challenge Unlimited is affiliated with 17 other service providers in a collaborative effort to best meet the needs of our mutual constituencies.2) Ironstone Therapy: serves approximately 100 individuals weekly. Ironstone Therapy provides medically based physical and occupational therapy and speech/language pathology for people with physical disabilities based on physician prescription. Ironstone Therapy holds contracts with 9 Early Intervention programs throughout Greater Boston, the North Shore and the Merrimack Valley.3) Summer Camp: serves approximately 200 children during the summer months in an included program. Challenge Unlimited strives to find funding that will open the doors of the Summer Camp to children from the inner city and from families of low income.4) Peanuts on Ponies and Community Groups: has served about 80 children since its inception in 2005. Peanuts provides an opportunity for parents/guardians to teach their children using real ponies under the guidance of a licensed instructor in a "play group" setting. Peanuts is combined with the Community Group concept which provides physical therapy in a group setting, bringing children of all abilities together in a play activity at a very early age.5) Working Student program: serves approximately 20 teens at a time, giving them the opportunity to earn riding lessons and the horse experience by helping with farm chores, caring for the animals and working with the therapeutic sessions. Working Students meet monthy in an educational setting, and are able to grow within the program by becoming team leaders, apprentice instructors, and/or program coordinators, thus leading to future job opportunities. In the past two decades more than 1000 teens have experienced the Ironstone Farm Working Student program and many have gone on to pursue careers in related fileds of interest.6) Volunteer program: Challenge Unlimited needs the help of more than 150 voluntees each week. Volunteer recruitment is ongoing with workshops offered four evenings a month, year round. Volunteers range in age from 12 to adult and come from a broad range of ethnic, educational. professional and socio-economic backgrounds. 7) Beginning in Fall 2008, the Challenger House will provide after-school activities in art, theater arts and music therapies for children with disabilities as well as a resource center for families of people with disabilities.