Rivendell ReCreation Center

Rivendell ReCreation Center



Fellowship Times

February March 2009

Our son with Childhood Apraxia of Speech
is helped by Therapeutic Riding at
Rivendell Recreation

By W. David Poleon

       Our son has a condition known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech. It is a motor speech disorder.
       For reasons not yet fully understood, children with apraxia of speech have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech. Apraxia of speech is a specific speech disorder.
       Our son was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech when he was three years old. He had been receiving speech therapy for 2 years before the diagnosis. After the diagnosis his Speech Language Pathologist recommended that we up his speech services to 4 times per week. He has been receiving services 4 times per week for speech for another 2 years now. He also has been receiving Occupational Therapy 2 times per week for fine motor and sensory integration for the past year.
       This past summer my wife attended a Childhood Apraxia of Speech conference to learn more about the condition and to see if there was more we could be doing for him. She heard about an additional therapy that many families were using. It was called "Hippotherapy".
       This involves the use of Physical Therapists and trained horses. We were very encouraged by the results that other children with Apraxia of Speech were seeing. We were blessed to have Chester Dudek and Lady Trish Dudek from Rivendell Recreation to call upon. Rivendell Recreation offers therapeutic riding. Bro. Chet is
a member of Fellowship Lodge and was more
  than willing to answer any questions that we had.
       We stopped by to see how our son would take to the horses and it was very encouraging. He loved them. He was able to attend the last session for the 2008 riding year at Rivendell. What we saw was amazing. He worked with a side walker and a physical therapist for 45 minutes one day per week. He rode backwards, forwards, on belly, on back. They worked with him intensely and he enjoyed every minute of it. After his very first ride he got off the horse and had a smile from ear to ear. He then said, "That is the most fun I have ever had."
       I almost fell over. That was the longest sentence he had ever said. He has had such improvement since riding in September. The staff/volunteers at Rivendell are fantastic. They are like an extended family. I can't wait for him to start riding again in the spring of 2009.
       The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America believes that Every Child Deserves a Voice. Should you like to help raise awareness please visit www.apraxia-kids.org and click on How to Help.
       We have also created our own Apraxia-Star page at www.apraxia-kids.org/stars/poleon. Also, Rivendell Recreation is always appreciative of volunteers to help around the facility. Whether with the horses, children, barn work or maintenance. You can contact them at 716-457-3365.
       Please see it in your heart to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia, so that each child has their best opportunity to develop speech.



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