Autism Awareness Month and New Hope

By Dan Roark

It’s been a busy month, but before Autism Awareness Month ends, I would like to get in a post in support.

Riders at New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy are often dealing with a number of issues. In numerous cases, one of those issues is autism. Or, more precisely, they are somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Those riders on the spectrum usually prefer to ride the same horse each lesson for consistency. The games on the sensory trail are not designed for every rider. They are designed for the various issues of the riders or to build up muscles that need to be stretched or motor skills that need to be developed.

Each rider has their favorite games on the sensory trail. It’s fascinating to see the smiles on their faces as they play those games. The problems of daily life fade away and they are in their element. Their eyes light up, whether they actually smile or not.

As I mentioned earlier, New Hope is designed to work with riders with a variety of issues. But with the broadness of the autism spectrum, the chances of any of the riders being on the spectrum are great. From low functioning to high functioning and places in-between, and from riders to some volunteers, autism takes many forms.

I have known many people on various parts of the spectrum over the years. In my other life as a singer-songwriter, I play a song I wrote for those on the spectrum. It’s called Hello Out There and you can find it in the usual places online or at Any proceeds from the song will go to New Hope.

For more information on autism, check out or the Autism Treatment Center of Texas in Dallas.

Ride on and ride for hope.

Donate to New Hope.

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