Sunday, February 12, 2017

An Easy Ride for Caleb




Caleb, turning on the Bubble Machine

Every Wednesday Caleb and his mom get in the car at their home south of Atlanta, Georgia, and drive 75 miles to McKenna Farms, in Dallas, Georgia. There, Caleb, a sweet eleven-year-old with dark red hair and freckles, spends an hour in hippotherapy.  Then they drive the 75 miles home.  It’s a long trip that uses a lot of gas money.
It’s also a trip that makes a world of difference for Caleb and his family, starting with that two-to-three hour trip home through Atlanta traffic.
Like many children with autism, Caleb bangs his head because the sensory receptors in his brain are unable to filter incoming sensory information, and he is overwhelmed. Head banging is a way to stop the overload.
When he is not consistently in hippotherapy his head banging becomes much worse. That happened this winter, once when his grandmother was in the hospital in critical condition and again when his therapist was ill. It's both frightening and dangerous, since Caleb repeatedly slams his head hard. With consistent hippotherapy each week, the calm that ensues greatly reduces that painful response, and carries over throughout the week.  

Caleb,Sweet and Solemn

Caleb was prescribed hippotherapy when he was three.  His older brother, also autistic and now in middle school, was prescribed hippotherapy at age four.  “But insurance does not cover anything out of the ordinary, and I couldn’t afford it,” says Shae, Caleb’s mother.
As she says this I think of Jacob riding on Major’s back working on colors with his therapist. Jakie started hippotherapy when he was two, and in that year he was so happy and made such progress. Insurance didn’t cover the cost, but Josh and Sarah could easily see what a difference it made in Jacob’s life and wellbeing.
That’s why we started Jacob’s fund. If hippotherapy was such a joy for Jacob and at the same time increased his ability to live a better, fuller life, we thought it the perfect gift to give in his memory.  

Christmas PJs!

 Now, Caleb’s pain is lessened.  His family life is happier. He’s making progress. 
 
That’s what you give when you support Jacob’s Fund. A better life, more fully lived.  Thank you.