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Horse Therapy for Local Kids with Autism

By Alex Howard.
An organization in Apalachin is using horses and technology as therapy for children with autism.

At Fargnoli Farms in Apalachin you might think this girl is learning to ride a horse...and she is. But that's not all.

The Southern Tier Alternative Therapy Group is using horses to help kids with special needs to improve their communication skills:

"We use a natural horsemanship process to work with our horses and we work with our horses and play with them almost everyday," said Linda Fargnoli

Horses on Fargnoli Farms are specifically trained to deal with special needs children. horse and rider teams are based off of needs and temperment.

Thanks to a grant from the hidy ochiai foundation, the clinicians also use ipads to create apps that are tailor made to meet each childs' needs:

"They prepare it for children, who are low verbal or non verbal to use it while they're riding the horse to improve communication," said Tina Caswell of Southern Tier Alternative Therapies (STAT).

"'while they're on the horse you'll have a clinician beside them and you hold up the ipad and they can basically pick a button out and say whatever you want it to say," said Laura Pallo

The program runs for 8 weeks, blending both the technology of ipads with the simplicity of farm life.

****In Apalachin, Alex Howard, FOX 40 HD News****