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Nathan Carty

 
My son and I are involved with RDA Bendigo. Nathan has Aspergers and is home schooled via Distance Education. Nathan was diagnosed early 2013 when he was 14 after a long and frustrating journey
 
It was not long after Nathan's diagnosis that a friend told us about RDA and encouraged us to give them a ring. We had no contact with horses prior to this but we were willing to give it a go as Nathan's special interest is animals. To say that it has been a success is an understatement.
 
Prior to joining RDA, Nathan had quite extreme social anxiety. This was one of the major considerations in him leaving high school and commencing Distance Education. He rarely left home or spoke with people he did not know well and his confidence was rather lacking. We were pretty nervous joining RDA as we did not know what to expect and Nathan had never ridden a horse before.
 
We need not have worried as Nathan absolutely loved the contact with the horses and, after a while, even began to talk with the volunteers. Nathan found that he could talk with the volunteers about his love of animals and that they respected this mutual interest. In addition, RDA Bendigo took him to the State Games where he had a major success and this, coupled with the fact that the volunteers thought enough of him to take him there, seemed to unlock his social fears. Now he talks quite easily and comfortably with all the volunteers and has even become a volunteer himself. He openly talks about how comfortable he feels at RDA and even went to the RDA Christmas Social Event and loved it.
 
Nathan is still anxious in certain social settings, particularly with people his own age, but he is doing much better and is willing to give things a go now. His confidence has grown so much that he has eagerly attended to Natural Horsemanship weekends with some members of RDA Bendigo, something we would never have through possible before.
 
Thank you RDA