Give Equine Therapy to Children with Disabilities

Apr 23, 2012

Sarah's Year

McKenna Farms
McKenna Farms

Sarah's discovered something this year, and it's turned her life around:  hippotherapy.  For the first time since her diagnosis of autism nearly four years ago, Sarah can learn. 

But she won't be able to continue on this bright new path without your help. The Red Thread Promise needs to fund Sarah's hippotherapy for a full year, and we can only do that with your support.

Sarah was born in 2004, the first child in a family that grew in numbers and love.  She was later joined by Jordan, who is six, and Zion, now three.  In 2011, the family adopted Madison, a special-needs child who turns two in March, 2012.

Sarah thrived for the first year and two months of her life. But at fourteen months, Sarah suddenly stopped vocalizing.  “She totally regressed,” Said her mother. 

Watching her daughter change from a babbling toddler to an uncommunicative, withdrawn child was painful.  It was also baffling.

When Sarah was diagnosed with autism, shock and grief mingled with hope that knowing what caused Sarah’s withdrawal into a silent world might offer hope for their little girl.

In 2009, Sarah began traditional therapy in a clinical setting at McKenna Farms.  This is the approach most often used for children with disabilities.  Many children thrive in these circumstances, especially in a place like McKenna Farms, whose therapy rooms are in the old farmhouse, a true home, rather than a sterile environment.

But those methods didn’t work for Sarah.  For three years speech, physical, and occupational therapists worked with her.  “Nothing was accomplished,” her mother says.  “She couldn’t sit still, she couldn’t attend, and she couldn’t concentrate.  There was zero learning taking place.”

Then, with support from Jacob’s Fund, Sarah began hippotherapy. 

Sarah’s world is different now.  Her mom told us “On her horse, Sky, she listens and pays attention. She’s able to learn for the first time.  She is aware that in order to get what she wants from Sky she needs to communicate.  She has to say ‘Go fast, Sky.’

“Hippotherapy has made it possible for her to learn.  It’s help that is effective.  Now we know she can learn.”  As Diana repeats this, her sense of awe and relief is almost palpable.

We share that feeling.  Helping Sarah achieve milestones and more fully participate in her family’s life is what Jacob’s Fund is about. 

Our goal is to provide support for Sarah’s hippotherapy for a full year, at a cost of $10,000.  With your help, we’ll reach our goal and watch Sarah grow and thrive with the help of this amazing therapy


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Project Leader

Kathy Korge Albergate

Havertown, PA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Give Equine Therapy to Children with Disabilities