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Sophie's Story
- Severe Anxiety
- Autism (PDA)
- Sensory M

"The difference in Sophie is amazing. Her whole demeanour is just lighter and happier since the session started. She is absolutely loving them. Her mum and dad have said the sessions are life changing’’.
Ava's Grandparents

*name changed for anonymity

Social context

Severe anxiety occurs when the body's natural responses to stress exceed healthy levels and interrupt your ability to function and carry out typical day-to-day tasks. While most people experience some anxiety, as with a new experience or challenge, severe anxiety can be overwhelming.

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a profile of autism PDA is a type of autism spectrum disorder. Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) is a profile that describes those whose main characteristic is to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent.

Sensory Modulation Disorder is the bodies neurological inability to regulate and process sensory stimuli causing over-responsivity.

About Sophie

Sophie has not attended her middle school since September 2021 and her attendance before that was 50% on a part timetable - she has been part time since Year 3. Sophie is so disengaged from education that any mention of formal education causes huge anxiety and panic attacks. 

Sophie barely leaves the house and has regular periods of not getting out of bed for 2-3 weeks. She is extremely demand avoidant, even the demand of being hungry or thirsty is too much.

She has very low aspirations of herself and doesn’t want to leave her parents as she believes that she cannot cope without them.

At Stable and Wild

Sophie has been attending Stable and Wild with the primary aim of improving her levels of confidence and self esteem. Her parents also hope that she will leave with strategies to manage her anxieties in everyday life and to help her re engage with education. 



Impact Measures and Outcomes

  • Develop the ability to express and regulate feelings and thoughts positively

    • discusses her feelings during her session reflections 

  • To develop strategies to manage difficult feelings in a more appropriate way

    • awareness of actions and impact through work with the horses

  • To develop an ability to build positive healthy relationships

    • a positive relationship with her coach and her horse Bob

  • To communicate effectively and positively in a safe way

    • Ava keeps herself safe on site and when working with Bob

  • Programme extended to continue positive progression.

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