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Ming Sun

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Ming Sun.jpg

Ming Sun is my 13 year old son, he is autistic with a demand avoidance profile and has significant speech and language issue. This means that any demand, even simple things such as ‘come down for dinner’, will send him into high anxiety. Our daily life is dictated by what he can manage, which usually means he spends most of his time in his room, on his own. He also finds it difficult to communicate with us, so he finds it almost impossible to describe to us what he is feeling so often we can’t help him when he is struggling.


He has been riding with the Bank Farm riding for the disabled for about 18 months and it has made such a difference to him and our family in so many ways. First, Ming Sun has learnt a new skill; this has given him a lot of confidence. He hasn’t ever been able to stick with any hobbies previously because he has found the regular commitment and the practice too demanding. RDA is the first place where they have completely understood his needs, and this takes the pressure off him as he feels as though he can be his whole self and doesn’t have to ‘mask’. This has also meant that if is struggling he knows that it doesn’t matter and he will always be welcomed back when he is ready. Secondly, it has helped his communication; he seems to find it easier to open up to the volunteers whilst he is concentrating on his riding and I have found so much about him from those conversations! Thirdly, it is a safe haven for us as parents, we are surrounded by a community who understand our situation and this has been invaluable for us, and it is a place to share our troubles but also share tips or recommendations for things that work. 


RDA is the only thing Ming Sun is happy to go to, in fact he has enjoyed the riding and being around the horses so much that he is now loaning one of the RDA ponies. This means he is able to spend more time at the yard and has formed a friendship with one of the other riders, Megan, and it is really special to see them riding and encouraging each other. We have not seen this in anything else he has tried.

Written by: Denise Leonard

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