Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Intl.™, a leader in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT), has partnered with CenturyLink to provide EAAT for children with autism. CenturyLink has established CenturyLink Scholarships, which will provide 10-20 scholarships of $250-500 each for families of children with autism at Colorado PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers (PACs).
The Center for Disease Control now estimates that 1 in 88 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. ASD is also the number one population served by PATH Intl. With the growing number of children with autism needing services, this partnership could not have come at a better time.
About the Scholarships
The CenturyLink Scholarships will be awarded based on a family’s financial need as demonstrated to the participating Colorado PATH Intl. PAC. The scholarship will directly fund the cost of a child’s participation in therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, interactive vaulting, equine-facilitated learning or other EAAT programs.
PATH Intl. has contacted the PACs in Colorado about their ability to accept new participants. PATH Intl. is working with autism groups near the PACs to encourage families of children with autism to apply for the scholarships.
The PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center program is a voluntary, peer reviewed process by which PATH Intl. centers demonstrate excellence in providing quality EAAT and that they have met established industry standards for the safety of all concerned. By partnering with PATH Intl. PACs, CenturyLink can be assured that the children with autism and their families are receiving care and instruction from the best that PATH Intl. has to offer.
About PATH Intl.
PATH Intl., formerly NARHA, was formed in 1969 to promote equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. Throughout the world, hundreds of thousands of individuals with and without special needs experience the rewarding benefits of EAAT. A physical, cognitive or emotional special need does not limit a person from interacting with horses. In fact, such interactions can prove highly rewarding. With more than 3,700 certified instructors, 6,000 therapy horses, 43,000 volunteers and 800 member centers around the globe, almost 48,000 children and adults find a sense of strength and independence through involvement with horses.
Evan Dustan, the 2010 PATH Intl. Child Equestrian of the Year award winner, exemplifies what can be accomplished through the power of the horse to change lives. When Evan, who has autism, first came to Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, a PATH Intl. Center in Union Grove, WI, he would hide under a blanket if new people were around, and loud noises disrupted him. But when Evan is on a horse, he is a different child. “Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about Evan is that for a child with autism, the one thing he has hung onto is his love for horses and this program,” said Evan’s instructor Stephanie Kubarth. “Here is a child who went from major sensory issues, shutting down and having meltdowns to a child who asks if he can ride in our fundraisers.”
Click here to learn more about PATH Intl. and how the power of the horse changes lives.
About CenturyLink: CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States, providing broadband, voice and wireless services to consumers and businesses across the country. CenturyLink is committed to strengthening and improving the communities it serves, not only through its products and services, but also through philanthropic support of local community agencies, events and initiatives. Philanthropic and volunteer efforts are focused on K-12 education and programs that support youth; technology-focused initiatives; and locally driven efforts that strengthen communities and make them better places.
PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers in Colorado