MINDEN, NV (KOLO) - Sometimes the simplest joys of watching your child smile, grow and develop can be taken for granted. Especially when they're diagnosed with a disability, which is the case for six-year-old Payden Insell who has Autism.
"Three years ago I called my mother crying, telling her that either I needed to be medicated or something needed to happen because our life was pretty hellish actually...and now it's very normal," Kaitlyn Insell recalls. She says her family’s pediatrician recommended Kids and Horses in 2016, as she details, “We were really concerned, just about occupational therapy in general, and then we found out that it's 100 percent covered through our insurance program...and my jaw hit the floor. Because I just thought that that never was a possibility that we would be able to do something like this!”
The Minden non-profit works with both children and adults with various disabilities through the use of therapy horses.
"Three years ago she was ripping her hair out, punching holes in walls, throwing things at her siblings. Now, she is the most delicate and gentle and methodical. She has a very methodical thinking about her. I mean she participates in softball now and that's not something I thought she'd ever be able to do,” she says.
There are classrooms with licensed therapists as well as the gorgeous and productive outdoor setting. One of the biggest assets Insell says, are the friendly and beautiful horses, adding, “They know they're here to do something good for somebody else, they just know they are. Just the way that they act with everybody's kids, because I have a couple of other friends whose children come here too who are on the spectrum or have other stuff going on.”
The Insell family lives in Topaz Lake, although Kids and Horses is available to all of Northern Nevada. Most services are free depending on your insurance.
This is a wonderful example of a parent's satisfaction, a child's progress and a nonprofit that's ready and willing to help.
Kaitlyn says Payden has now integrated into regular all-day kindergarten and is playing sports and has more confidence.
To learn more about kids and horses click here.
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