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Case Study: How Horses Helped A Teenager With Autism Make Friends And Learn How To Work

Temple Grandin

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I was born in 1947 and had autism with speech delay until age four. I am now a college professor of animal science. Horse activities enabled me to make friends through a shared interest in horses. This paper describes the benefits that I experienced from working with horses and my friendships and work skills. A close friendship developed with another student through both riding and horse craft projects. Keeping employment is a serious problem for many people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The responsibility of caring for horses and cleaning stalls every day taught me good work skills. My experiences suggest that there were valuable outcomes from working with horses. This may be a beneficial intervention to include in programming for youth with ASD.