A Radical Way To Treat Autism: The Horse Boy on PBS

Health People

Photo from horseboymovie.comPhoto from horseboymovie.com

Photo from horseboymovie.com

The Horse Boy is a touching documentary about one Texas couple’s struggle to understand their child’s autism and find ways for all of them to cope with it. Their journey starts with Rowan’s chance encounter with a grumpy old mare on their ranch and takes us all the way to a shaman in the far reaches of Mongolia. The trip is filled with anxiety, doubt, and plenty of temper tantrums, but in the end they all agree that it was worth it and the results are amazing.

On Tuesday, May 11, the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS presents THE HORSE BOY, Michel Orion Scott’s remarkable new documentary about Rupert Isaacson and Kristina Neff’s unorthodox journey with their autistic son and the miracle they find through horses — first on their Texas farm and then in the outer reaches of Mongolia. Rupert Isaacson, who has also written a book about the experience and now runs a learning center, The Horse Boy Foundation, is available for interview as is the filmmaker, Michel Orion Scott. http://www.horseboymovie.com

I thought the movie was very well done. The scenery in Mongolia was amazing, and what we see of the natives is interesting. At one point they make a connection between autism and shamans, indicating that shamans often exhibit some of the signs of autism, but they stopped short of really exploring that idea.

If you know, or are, someone with autism, I’d recommend watching. I learned a few things, and enjoyed the film. I’d love to discuss it in the comments below after everyone gets a chance to see it.

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