9th September is International FASD Awareness Day, in commemoration of the nine months of pregnancy.
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe a spectrum of abnormalities that may occur to an individual whose mother drank alcohol during her pregnancy. FASDs can include physical and intellectual disabilities as well as learning and behavioural difficulties, with possible lifelong implications. No two people with FASD are alike – some babies who have been exposed to alcohol whilst in the womb are born with severe physical differences and intellectual disabilities, whilst others are only slightly affected.
Equine Assisted Therapy may be beneficial for children and adults with FASD in several ways. Firstly, someone with FASD may have sensory issues, which means that they need more or less stimulation than the average person. Working with horses can assist with sensory difficulty, as the person can receive sensations from riding the horse, stroking it, brushing it etc. Horse riding can also improve the coordination, motor skill and balance problems that prenatal alcohol exposure has been linked to.
Children and teens with FASD often have a short attention span, hyperactivity and find it difficult to behave. Horses command respect due to their size which can encourage children with FASD to be engaged both physically and mentally when caring or working with them.
A child or adult with FASD might also struggle in social situations. Horses can help as they offer a non-judgmental, supportive and healing experience, allowing them to develop their social skills and learn to navigate relationships.
We offer free facilities to people with FASD, whether you’re a NHS referral or not its free! Bring a therapist or come alone and use our facilities to help make new friends and let our rescue horses help, we have seen a change within just a week. If you would like to find out more, please contact us by calling: 07766 027162 or fill in the contact form.