Ritalin for Horses?
Would you believe doctors prescribe Ritalin not only to children but horses, too? Yes, horses! Much like humans, horses are sometimes prescribed Ritalin to help them calm down. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), it is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. Children with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly active.
Types of ADHD
There are 3 different types of ADHD: Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, and Combined Presentation. Scientists are studying causes and risk factors for ADHD and, in addition to genetics, scientists postulate other possible causes and risk factors.
In most cases, ADHD is treated with a combination of stimulant medication and behavior therapy. ADHD can be diagnosed by a specialist like a developmental pediatrician or child psychiatrist.
They are trying something different at the Good Earth Farm and Foundation, Inc. in Loxahatchee, Florida. There, they have a program called Animal Assisted Therapy which may help your child's ADHD. In one study, children with ADHD showed improvement on the GAF (Global Assessment of Functioning) scale after equine assisted psychotherapy. The therapy used the horse as a therapeutic tool and according to the study, addressed "self-esteem and personal confidence, communication and interpersonal effectiveness, trust, boundaries and limit-setting, and group cohesion."
According to Nancy Fried at the Good Earth Farm, Inc,
"There is a neurological connection triggered by touching the animal to the brain. It induces a soothing feeling or calming and mellow, euphoric state."
Nancy is not a psychotherapist. She is a reiki practioner and medical intuitive. At the Good Earth Farm, Inc, she works with children and adults and uses Animal Assisted Therapy. For this type of therapy, it is necessary to first evaluate and figure out the personality of the animal identified as a therapy tool. To evaluate this, clients at the Good Earth Farm, Inc. brush, groom and snack with the animal. We customize the therapy so if the client is old enough, we may put the client on top of the animal and do a walk.
Nancy says, "If you came and visited us you would not see therapy you would see clients having a great time!" For example, there is a rhythm when riding a horse that is calming for people with autism. And the Good Earth Farm, Inc doesn't just have horses, they have zebras, minature horse ponies and guinea pigs, too!
CHADD is an acronym for Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Its mission is to improve the lives of people affected by ADHD. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that provides "education, advocacy and support" for people with ADHD. It is funded by government grants from the CDC, membership dues, donations, as well as other sources.
If you need help for children with ADHD, consider applying to a grant like this one:
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS): Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities: Stepping-up Technology Implementation CFDA Deadline: 04/14/2016.
Grants to USA and territories, local, State, and tribal governments, IHEs, LEAs, SEAs, nonprofits, and businesses for technologies and other assistance that will help disabled students function better in the classroom.
Or, if you want help for animals, check out grants like this one for the welfare of horses:
Grants of up to $25,000 to USA equine service organizations in recognition of the lifesaving work they do on behalf of at-risk horses
To locate other related grants, go to GrantWatch.com and check out the menu to the right of the screen which lists categories of grants. Click on Mental Health, Disabilities, Special Education or Pets/Animal/Wildlife and see the many causes for which you can find support.
Or, try crowdfunding to help raise financial support for children with ADHD. Just sign up at Uhelpfund and start a crowdfunding campaign under Mental Health, Disabilities, or Special Education. You can also try crowdfunding to raise support for animal issues under Animal Welfare and Training or Wildlife. Then, socialize the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Google+. To learn tips on how to socialize your campaign, check out In the Media at Uhelpfund.
About the Author: Sabeen has studied Mass Communication and is a writer. She is currently working towards a Masters in Public Health and writing for GrantWatch and its affiliates.