My name is Stacey Webb and I have a 15-year-old son who is both Autistic and Epileptic. Max has struggled with many issues but the main one had been his speech, he is mostly selectively mute having a very difficult time know what to say and how to say it.
Max also has seizures and sometimes will acts out in anger, mostly against me. Max has been and is now a very loving boy, but with the onset of puberty things have changed a bit.
His father couldn’t deal with having a special needs son, his words not mine. So, he left us in 2008 and moved out of the country to Canada. That means I am both mother and father to Max and I can tell you it’s harder than you can fathom.
About a year ago, we heard about Beyond Limits and having grown up with horses, I wanted Max to have a chance to fall in love with them also. I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for Beyond Limits. We were accepted right away to summer camp and it didn’t matter what Max’s disability was, Kristen loved him right away. She is such a gift.
Max’s first day of riding didn’t go well, he was scared and Mom was nervous for him, but Mrs. Kristen took over and she had him riding immediately. Summer camp went well but then came the weekly lessons. My heart is so full in telling you this, but as we had each week’s lesson, Max began to want to ride and to ask me to ride. Now, take a minute to let that sink in…he ASKED me to go riding. Not in a full sentence but he said, “ride JD”. Can you understand what it means to a mother to hear her son say even one word when he has always struggled with it? At each lesson every week, Max would say new things, sometimes so softly you couldn’t be sure he said it. Once, I remember he shouted, “Mrs. Kristen, I’m tired, I don’t want to do this anymore” and she replied to him,” Max that was great talking and thank you for telling me that but we have to finish what we started”.
Before my very eyes, Max was changing, he was talking more and not gibberish, he was making sentences. NEVER have we found any program that has been successful at that. Also, I have to tell you that the meltdowns have been a lot less, and that is truly one of the best side effects of this riding program. As part of the program the kids have to tack up the horses and then after the ride, they brush the horses. This is a boy that was terrified to be near the horse and now he is brushing him and even trying to clean his hoofs. Responsibility!!! I love it. And of course we have to thank our horses for letting us ride them, so Max gives JD a treat…Max does it alone, to a very large animal he was scared of.
As you can tell, I’m such a proud mother and I feel so blessed to have found Beyond Limits. I hope that we can continue with his lessons, and there’s no telling where this could take my son.