I've heard first words and seen children who would otherwise be in their own worlds reach out to interact with the horse. Also, I've seen autistic children with bad tantrums control their behavior when we tell them that they might scare or hurt their horse. In terms of speech, I think there are a few things that influence it. One is the sensory input they get while on the horse, which can help them focus. Another is that the setting is very stimulating. There's a lot to look at at a barn! At my barn, we have a mini donkey who has proven to be a great speech therapy tool... the kids talk to him and sometimes, he talks right back!Thanks for your info guys. Aliliz i was just wondering if you could tell me about the results that you've seen? I've heard stories about Autistic children saying some of there first words on horse back. What do you think it is that helps them in this instance to speak. I've been doing research and have found that even those who don't like to actually ride the horse because they've had a bad experience etc have found the grooming and the looking after of the horse beneficial. I think it does come down to what you said, that the children are able to relate or connect with horses in ways that they can't with other people. SlideStop im just in the middle of trying to get an opportunity to go to riding for the disabled place. So fingers cross that happens. Saddlebag thats really interesteing. Do you know if the he enjoyed riding the horses?