Founder/Executive Director, Amanda Charney, was able to visit one of the grantees that Small Steps in Speech recently awarded. CM, is an eight-year-old boy who is making strides with his communication. SSIS has provided CM with 20 speech therapy sessions to Rocking Horse Rehab in West Orange, NJ. This particular grant was for Hippotherapy. Rocking Horse Rehab is a pediatric rehabilitation specializing in equine assisted therapies along with alternative and traditional therapeutic programs. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and their families by offering innovative opportunities for clinical, educational and social development through equine assisted therapies and other alternative therapeutic programs. CM receives his speech therapy while working with a Speech Language Pathologist on a horse.

“It was an awesome experience to see first hand one of the grant recipients. SSIS provides hundreds of grants to children throughout the country. I always said I wanted to meet these children and their families that I am helping and I was finally able to do just that! To meet CM’s mother and to see her motivation to improve CM’s communication was equally as exciting. There is only so much a speech therapist can do to improve a child’s communication. We rely so much on the parents/caregivers to carry over our strategies as speech therapists into their everyday environment. It is evident that CM’s family is working with the team to ensure he is improving with his communication. It was motivating for me to see a child work outside of the traditional speech therapy room and move away from the table/chair model and engage in functional communication such as Hippotherapy” stated Amanda Charney.