Watching a child progress from crawling to standing and finally taking first steps is one of the great joys of parenthood. But Leo’s parents thought these milestones might never come. At least not until Leo began receiving treatment at The Children’s TherAplay Foundation, a United Way supported agency that incorporates the movement of horses (hippotherapy) into physical and occupational therapies for children with special needs.
After nearly two years of traditional therapies Leo’s parents had almost given up hope. During his evaluation at TherAplay, Leo was unable to hold himself up on his hands and knees for more than three seconds. Seven months after beginning equine-assisted physical therapy at TherAplay, Leo crawled to the top of the stairs at home and announced, “I did it!”
More celebrations came as Leo began walking with the aid of a walker to eventually walking independently. Today, Leo proudly walks from the car to the clinic and out to the arena.
“TherAplay was one of the first things we did where Leo seemed to light up and enjoy being a part of. So, it connected with him. And then all those other things in his body and his mind started to click together... we were off to the races.”