There are approximately 700,000 people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the UK. If you include their families, Autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people in the UK.
What does it mean to have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder?
Children with ASD display a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterised by social challenges, communication difficulties, and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour. These characteristics create challenging situations for them both at home and at school. If left unsupported, these challenging situations can lead to isolation for both the child and their families, causing mental health issues, depression and worse.
How does Autism Angels help?
Autism Angels supports these children by giving them tools and techniques to manage these situations. Together with their families and teachers, they are given the opportunity to work through their challenges and to develop their communication, relationship building and life skills.
We use an equine facilitated learning programme, working alongside a magnificent team of horses to create ‘real life’ scenarios. Horses have a range of emotions that create powerful and honest immediate feedback. This model provides remarkable insights into how we communicate, empower and connect with ourselves and the wider world around us.
Every child with ASD is unique, with unique behaviours and challenges and for every unique child is a family, a parent who struggles daily with giving their child unconditional love and support.
Give the parents the strength to make positive changes..
Parents need our help too, to be strong and supportive for their children. Our parents devote their lives to caring for their children and giving them the best opportunities, but their own needs are often overlooked. Parents who visit us are often lonely and feel alienated from the community around them. Many dread getting up in the morning, and leaving the house in fear of the situations they may have to deal with. They need to realise that they are not alone, that others are dealing with these challenges too and they need support to find new ways to conquer these daily battles.
Our parent programme will give them the opportunity to come to our farm and concentrate on themselves, to benefit from a safe space. It will give them the chance to learn how to manage their children’s behaviours and take back control.
On top of the emotional strain of having a child with ASD, there is often a financial strain caused by relationship break downs, extra medical bills, therapy and difficulties holding on to a job due to childcare issues. Autism Angels would like to offer these parents the support that they need without financial constraints.