My son, Wyatt, is three years old. Wyatt has been diagnosed with Ocular Motor Apraxia, Speech Apraxia, and Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy. Beyond his diagnoses, he is a loveable, determined little boy. As Wyatt has grown we have seen his frustration grow because he is unable to keep up with his siblings and friends. We knew we had to do more to help him reach his goals.
After a recommendation from school, Wyatt began hippotherapy in July at C.H.U.M Therapeutic Riding with Bonnie DePue. As a parent, I was nervous because putting my special needs three-year-old child (who is scared of dogs) on a horse seemed a little crazy! I am writing this letter today to inform you that I couldn’t have been more wrong to be worried. Bonnie was patient and put Wyatt at ease quickly. By the end of the first session Wyatt’s only complaint seemed to be that he wasn’t going fast enough!
In five short months of riding, we’ve seen tremendous progress in Wyatt. In July he was only able to take a few wobbly steps and required wheel chair assistance to ride the bus to school. Today he is walking confidently across rooms, balancing on his own, and climbing the steps on the school bus with assistance. His receptive language skills have improved immensely and he’s beginning to form more words. The school therapists were absolutely astounded with his progress during the summer and Wyatt is ecstatic to finally enjoy being able to walk and play like other kids. The only change we implemented was the addition of therapeutic riding into his schedule.
In addition to getting to seeing significant progress in Wyatt’s developmental delays, our entire family enjoys our weekly trips to C.H.U.M. Bonnie and her staff are AMAZING! They are able to look beyond the disabilities and really get to know each individual as a person. I can’t explain how refreshing that is as a parent of a child with special needs. I love being able to watch Wyatt truly enjoy a therapy session!
In summary, I couldn’t be happier about my decision to take my son to C.H.U.M. and to have the opportunity to get to know Bonnie DePue. She has dedicated her life to improving the lives of people like my son. You can feel her love for her work and her riders as soon as you walk in her arena.
Please consider supporting this incredible organization so Bonnie can provide more families with the experience she has provided mine.