The very first week of learning, Reine was just finishing her weekly horse riding session at Forbach Stables in the North of Mauritius, when to my amazement a school bus arrived from which a whole group of autistic children excitedly emerged to start working with and among the horses.
This immersion into experiencing autism and the various traits first hand was invaluable to Reine. Children from various ends of the spectrum were present. Some able to mount and ride the horses virtually unaided, with others finding even simple tasks challenging. At first Reine was quite trepidatious of the children, in part because they are all French or Creole speaking which makes communication even more challenging than is normally the case with the differently able.
Learning about autism has been a real growth experience for Reine. Most of all she sees how she in fact shares many interests and emotions with these children. The excitement of interacting with horses, cleaning out stables, sitting on horse-back and being one with such a huge and strong animal – all are feelings and actions that Reine too has experienced.