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Blog Gems: Redeeming Elvis (A Vacation Story)

by Trish on January 30, 2011 · 6 comments

in Autism, Awareness, Daily Life

The prompt for this edition of Blog Gems is to “link up a post that tells us about a holiday, any kind of holiday even just a weekend away (or an hour to yourself!).” All you have to do is link up your post and then read and comment on the two posts listed before yours (at least!). Visit Blog Gems – Air Your Archives #8 to link up your post or read some other entries.

As I was reflecting back over what I have written about this topic, I realized that I have just passed the three-year mark of my start in blogging, as my first post was published on January 26, 2008. It has been quite the adventure, and I still love it!

The holiday story that comes to my mind, however, is not one that I wrote about here. Instead, it was one of my very first posts on the site 5 Minutes for Special Needs, written just after it started in July of 2008.

I am reprinting the post here to make it easier. I know this is a pretty broad interpretation of the prompt, but since this is what popped into my head, here it is!

Redeeming Elvis (A Vacation Story)

What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been – working on articles and various details for the launch of 5 Minutes for Special Needs between posting on my own blog, going to work, taking care of my husband and son, handling ongoing transportation problems and getting ready for a family vacation that started the day before the site went live! Despite the continual itch to sneak away and visit the wifi hotspot during our vacation, we had a wonderful time with each other and my husband’s family.

One of the highlights of the trip was going to a horse riding place where the younger kids had pony rides while the older kids and some of the adults went for a trail ride. As the guide, Matt, helped my son onto his horse, I mentioned that he has autism and may not always answer when spoken to. Matt’s response was to ask me to join them, so of course my first thought was that he was worried about how my son would behave and didn’t want to be alone with him in case there was a problem. But it turned out that he actually wanted to talk to me.

As we walked along the path, he told me about about a child who has come into his life who has Asperger Syndrome. At the stable they have a horse, named Elvis, who was rescued from an abusive situation, and he wasn’t sure if they would ever be able to use him with guests. This boy has really taken to Elvis, however, and the horse has responded by being very gentle around him. From this experience, Matt has looked into the use of horses as therapy with children and adults who have various disabilities and is now planning to become certified for therapeutic horseback riding.

I never know what the response will be when I tell someone that my son has autism, although I am amazed at the number of times the person will begin sharing their concerns about a niece or nephew, a grandchild, or even their own son or daughter. This encounter, however, was such an encouragement to me. Although we hear stories every day of kids who are ostracized or damaged in some way by the people in their lives, here is a guy who had an experience and has responded by looking for a way that he can make a difference in the lives of others. All I can say is, “Way to go, Matt!”

So what’s the best reaction you have gotten to your child’s disability? Please leave a comment and share it with us.

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