Monday, May 11, 2009
Tackling Cerebral Palsy
by Raeshell Sorensen
(names in the article have been changed to protect the privacy of our participants)
Every day at the NAC we witness small miracles. One of many small miracles happened early on a Wednesday morning with a young man named Brad. Brad has Cerebral Palsy and has been riding horses for about two years; he recently switched from Therapeutic Riding to doing Occupational Therapy on a horse with our Hippotherapy program. Brad’s Dad Stuart has mentioned a few times how Brad screams and kicks out of excitement when he pulls their car into our drive. Although Brad doesn’t speak, he is quite verbal and communicates with those who know him best. Brad loves the horses, and the horses now help him to achieve his goals of building strength and coordination that will help him work towards walking with a walker to be more independent instead of using a wheelchair.
After 45 minutes of strenuous exercises and stretches on the back of his horse, Brad practices standing and crouching off the horse while holding to the arena fence. Two weeks ago, while doing such an activity, Brad stood up while holding the fence supporting his own weight for the first time. This may not seem like a momentous occasion to the common passerby, but Stuart had a tear in his eye when he said he was going to start shopping for walkers the next day. These are the small miracles that remind us why we do what we do.
If you are interested in seeing what benefits our therapeutic riding or hippotherapy programs could provide you, come visit us! We are located on the east side of Park City at Quinn’s Junction (off exit 4 of Hwy 40). If you have questions about the program check out our website or give us a call at 435.649.3991.