17 August 2016
To whom it may concern;
I am delighted to write about my family’s experiences riding at Hinchinbrook Farm. My autistic son, James, is currently 12 years old and has been riding there since he was 4 years old. The transformative effect on his anxiety levels, motor skills, social skills and overall affect are profound and measurable, in my opinion a direct result of the program that Patty McGill has designed uniquely at Hinchinbrook.
Patty’s unique ability to view every child as an individual with specific likes and dislikes, needs, and personality type, along with her expert knowledge of the animals she works with, have resulted in a one of a kind program which is very effective at servicing the entire child’s needs. In the world of an autistic child, this includes language, motor skills, anxiety, social engagement and a variety of other neurological and social defects. The program at Hinchinbrook Farm is designed to use the calming influence of the animals to bring the most out of every child, enabling them very often to participate in the “typical” world as they never are able, though that is a benefit which parents are able to see. For Patty, the goal is to make the children the best that they can be however that manifests itself. Hinchinbrook is a place where the children calmly and happily have fun, while Patty in the background is actively working with them to improve their life skills.
In the specific case of my son James, who is diagnosed with high function autism and OCD, the benefits from having ridden at Hinchinbrook Farm span across his social abilities which have improved while in the program, his physical affect which has become more coordinated while riding horses, and most noticeably his reduced anxiety which has made him more accessible in school and at home. Of course he is also happier and generally in a better place. While James has a variety of doctors, medications, therapists and the like, we participate with Hinchinbrook most actively during the month of August as we live in the New York area. Thus I notice the significant improvement when James is in the Hinchinbrook program relative to the other therapies he does, including other therapy riding programs. It is measurable and significant.
I am delighted to write about the positive experience we have had with Hinchinbrook Farm and would be happy to share more details to anyone needing them.