Dec 1, 2017
Following one’s passion isn’t always about making our own life better; sometimes we get a unique opportunity to fully harness the skills, talent, experience, connections, and interests we possess, in the service of someone we love.
This is precisely what happened to Elise Gaston Chand’s guest this week — Rupert Isaacson — whose son, Rowan, was diagnosed with autism at two. In Rupert’s quest to help his little boy, he utilized every skill he possessed as an internationally recognized journalist and a New York Times best-selling author. Which is why, when they received the diagnosis, Rupert began an epic journey to Mongolia to find an approach that was both ancient... and radically new from the perspective of "modern" therapy.
Autism has reached pandemic proportions, affecting 1 in 58 children. Nobody can agree on its cause, but Rupert Isaacson has expanded his quest of helping Rowan to, now, helping improve the lives of autistic children and families, and to change the world's unhealthy view of autism. To this end, Rupert wrote two books (The Horse Boy and The Long Ride Home), filmed a critically acclaimed documentary, and established The Horse Boy Foundation. Through his partnership with neurologists and therapists around the globe, he has engaged science to prove his approach radically improves autists' lives. And he utilizes every opportunity to personally carry his message to the world — through clinics, conferences, personal appearances, and talking with anyone who'll listen. In short, Rupert is doing everything in his power to shift our thinking about autism and how to support autists in a more nurturing and effective way.
Join Elise Gaston Chand and Rupert Isaacson in this week’s episode of Because of Horses to learn how horses led to the remarkable "Horse Boy Method," how talking with adult autists like the legendary Dr. Temple Grandin has helped Rupert better understand what autistic children need, to learn about his journey through Mongolia with a film crew as he struggled to find anything that would help his young son, as well as Rupert's guidance and recommendations for other parents who are looking for answers.
Topic of Discussion:
[1:56] The early days of receiving the diagnosis of their son, Rowan — what it was like, and where they initially sought help for better understanding of their son’s condition.
[6:16] Rupert’s understanding of how autists experience autism; the insights he gained from his conversations with Dr. Temple Grandin.
[9:37] Autism symptoms and challenges.
[10:17] Their experience in Mongolia and with shamanism.
[13:19] How therapeutic riding works (The Horse Boy Method) and how Rupert has translated that into homeschooling in their day-to-day lives.
[16:30] Using Rowan’s experience to create an accessible method for all people -- a horse isn't necessary -- and the academic recognition they’ve achieved.
[17:34] An explanation of shamanism.
[20:41] Rupert’s efforts to support Rowan and how that is helping tens of thousands of people worldwide.
[21:44] Spending time with Indigenous groups — what Rupert has learned from them.
[23:26] About Rupert’s journey through Mongolia and bringing a film crew along.
[25:36] Raw moments in Mongolia and what it was like being filmed.
[28:27] Rupert’s journey during the writing of The Horse Boy novel.
[31:37] When that healthy reliance on proven treatments becomes an impediment to utilizing new methods that have positive outcomes.
[34:00] The Horse Boy novel’s review from Lee Grossman, former President of the Autism Society of America.
[34:36] Rupert's perspective on how The Horse Boy has helped other people.
[35:50] Rupert’s recommendations and guidance to parents raising autistic children.
[37:39] What’s next for Rupert and Rowan.
[38:50] Rupert’s dream: to serve one million families every week.
[40:20] Rupert’s relationship with Rowan today.
[43:13] The importance of being open to learning from your child and others.
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Discover More About this Week’s Guests — Rupert Isaacson
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