A YOUNG boy with autism has found a voice thanks to the healing powers of horses at a farm near Chard.
Special Horses for Special Children was founded in September 2010 by Lilias Ahmeira, who has over ten years of clinical experience with autistic children and is the mother of a now borderline autistic son, 12-year-old Tom.
At Scrapton Farm, Wadeford, she uses many forms of equine therapy and one little boy who has made huge progress is three-year-old Noah Puleston from Honiton.
Noah's mother Sam Puleston originally thought that his total lack of speech was because he was deaf.
However, it was his nursery which identified his extreme behavioural symptoms – including anger, frustration, punching and biting – as severe global delay which is likely the result of an autistic spectrum disorder.
Things started to get better for the Puleston family when they attended the first session at the farm in August and right from the start Noah's behaviour started to change.
Mrs Puleston said: "He actually walked. He never walks anywhere else, but at Special Horses he walked everywhere.
"He played with horses and made friends with a stunning black Hungarian ex-circus horse, Liderc, and both took a shine to each other.
"He loves big black horses. He sat bareback on Baron, another big black horse, for ages with a massive beatific smile on his face, which to everyone who knew him was amazing."
Noah enjoyed the sensation of sitting high up while being encouraged to stroke the horse's silky coat and with one of Lilias's special riders, he experienced the thrill of double riding.
Mrs Puleston said: "In just three months, Noah has made improvements I dared not hope for. He is less angry because he has started to speak.
"He now has a vocabulary of about 40 words including 'please', 'horse', 'bubbles' and even said 'Me love you'."