ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Rupert Isaacson: The father who healed his autistic Horse Boy son

Updated on September 1, 2011
Horse Boy author Rupert Isaacson and his son Rowan sit with a Shaman healer in Mongolia
Horse Boy author Rupert Isaacson and his son Rowan sit with a Shaman healer in Mongolia

Rupert Isaacson is a jourmalist who worked in Africa as a rights activits. He had always ridden horses himself and been a fan of outdoor life.

His three-year-old son Rowan was diagnosed with autism in 2004 and he said that this was 'like being hit across the face with a baseball bat'.

Rowan failed to connect with his parents or other children - a trait often experienced by those with autism. At 18-months-old Rowan was also not pointing or developing a vocaubluary like other children his age.

Rupert and his wife Kristin tried to encourage Rowan to interact but without success. Incredibly, it was through a horse called Betsy that Rupert says he was finally able to find a way into his son's world.

Initaially Rupert had given up his life-time passion for riding and refused to let Rowan go near the horses, in case his unpredictable behaviour caused them to spook.

One of the few activities that Rowan did enojy was being let out to play in the woods behind the family home. There he would run through the trees.

The toddler was also captivated by wildlife and loved trips to the zoo. However, he often tried to climb the fence and once attmpted to get into the crocdile enclosure.

Rupert gets up onto a horse with Rowan
Rupert gets up onto a horse with Rowan
Mongolian horsemen paddle through water during the trip which was the inspiration for the Horse Boy movie
Mongolian horsemen paddle through water during the trip which was the inspiration for the Horse Boy movie
Rowan gently touches a horse's face
Rowan gently touches a horse's face

Rowan was clearly mesmorised by animals, but still his temper tantrums and autism continued. Then one day an unexpected break through came.

Rowan wandered off from his parents at their home and climbed through a fence into a field where five horses were grazing.

As Rupert could only look one, fearing the worst, Rowan laughed as he fell to the floor in front of an enormous mare called Betsy. Rupert looked on, concerned that the usually grumpy horse could be spooked and knock Rowan.

But incredibly, Betsy dropped her head toward Rowan and began gently nuzzling him. The other horses looked on as Rowan enjoyed being surrounded by the powerful beasts.

Rupert was delighted that Rowan enjoyed horses, and felt that there was a special connection between his son and the animals.

Rupert took Rowan on a trip abroad where he met bushmen and Shamans who laid their hands on the youngster to heal him. Although there were some beneficial repsonse, the effects wore off when they returned home.

But once again Rowan still had the same connection with Betsy the horse and ran straight to her field. Rupert saddlade her up and even took Rowan out to ride.

It was during this ride that the breakthrough in Rowan's autism came. He began to have a basis concervation with his father, saying when asked that he wanted Betsy to go faster and 'go to the pond'. A transformation had happened and Rupert was overjoyed.

They dismounted. 'Without hesitation, Rowan opened his arms and hugged Betsy's head, which was hanging low enough for him to reach. Then he gave her a kiss,' Rupert said.

'As he did so, an expression of extraordinary gentleness came over her - a certain softening of the eye, a blissful half-closing of the eyelid with its long black lashes.'

Rupert and Isaac share a happy moment together on horse back
Rupert and Isaac share a happy moment together on horse back
Rupert and Kristin sit on their horses
Rupert and Kristin sit on their horses
Rupert and Kristin pose with their horse
Rupert and Kristin pose with their horse

The passion for horses in the autisctic child started a healing journey that has resulted in a book, The Horse Boy: A Father's Miraculous Journey To Heal His Son. The book has also been made into a film, The Horse Boy.

This tells the story of how Rupert, his Kristin and their son trekked on horseback through Outer Mongolia to find healing. This journey changed their lives forever.

The family have also started the Horse Boy Foundation to help families on low-incomes who have children with an autistic spectrum disorder. There are also a number of Horse Boy Camps for children similar to Rowan.

Rupert's story of his journey to help his son Rowan gives hope to the parents of children with autism. It is now becoming more widely recognised that animals, and specifically horses, can have a beneficial and therapeutic effect on autistic children.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 

      6 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      My sons and I have aspergers. I read this book and it was amazing and so emotional. As a child I loved horses too. I have two ducklings but it is my 5 yr old son they love. They sit under the bench when he is playing computer games and have tried to follow him to bed, getting upset when they can't. Another similar and brilliant book is A friend called henry.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)