New Trails Center - Elgin, TX
Weekly Therapy Sessions - Playdates
Our weekly Therapy Sessions are called Playdates because although we deliver therapeutic services, we find that it can destroy a child's self confidence for them to be constantly told that they need therapy. So although our services are both therapeutic and educational, we like the child to feel that they are simply coming to play, and have no idea that they are getting cutting edge brain science and therapy. This is really the key to success in working with children - unlike adults children do not voluntarily sign up for therapy, and so being constantly told that they need therapy creates a warped self perception, kills self confidence and can lead to despair. There is increasing awareness of this problem within the therapy community. For more information on this read this article about the danger of creating over-compliance in children. A truly effective therapeutic approach should have structures so skillful that they are invisible to the child, who therefore participates fully and without resistance. This is how all our approaches are designed. .
Our weekend playdates last for up to three hours and are intended for families with a child on the autism spectrum under the age of 12. Playdates are intended for the whole family and siblings are not only welcome but actively encouraged to join in. Please note that playdates are not intended as respite care and parents are expected to remain within an arms reach of their child at all times whilst on property. Activities on offer include horse riding, sensory work, small animal petting zoo, play equipment and educational games and treasure hunts. Playdates on weekends are free of charge for families living in Central Texas. If you do not currently reside in Central Texas please check our Practitioners page to find somebody near you. To apply for a scholarship for playdates in Elgin, TX please complete the following form and we will be in touch to arrange a time for a taster session or notify you that you have been placed on our waiting list.
In addition to our free Playdates on weekend we do offer a small number of additional playdates on the weekdays. For these customized, private sessions on demand we do charge $75 per hour. Please fill out this form if you are interested in Playdates in Elgin.
Teenage & Young Adult Groups
The teenage groups take place on a weekly basis and lasts for approximately 2 hours. Activities on offer include horse riding and light farm chores including caring for and feeding our exotic animals. Our teenage groups are not only for teenagers, however. If your child is between 10 and 14 we will evaluate if it is more appropriate for them to join our regular Playdates or if they might fit better in the teenage groups. Similarly if your child is late teens or early twenties they might fit this group, or they might fit our young adult groups which are designed in a similar fashion but take place on other days.
Although the main activities on offer are farm related, we design the conversations around life skills, social skills including how to be with the opposite sex and in the work place, and so on. We find that when these conversations unfold naturally with the guidance of a good mentor, while taking responsibility for animals and plants, the acquisition of life and social skills is more effective than in a more artificial or clinical setting.
Please note that our teenage group is not intended as respite care and parents are expected to remain on property at all times. To apply for a spot please fill out this form. We will then be in touch to schedule a taster session.
Teenage & Young Adult Group - Dog Training, TTouch and Rehabilitation
We are currently planning a new group to expand our current offerings. Many people on the autism spectrum have a real affinity or gift with dogs. The service dog industry is ever growing and might offer some young adults on the spectrum a great career opportunity. We are in the process of creating a group at Austin's Animal Shelter that will help young adults on the spectrum to hone their dog training and by extension their social and life skills with the intention that after a while in this program some of our graduates will be able to find jobs training service dogs or companion animals. We do this in cooperation with the Austin Animal Shelter and Linda Tellington-Jones' TTouch program. In Austin this program is headed by veteran TTouch practitioner Marnie Reader who has mentored people in this for many years and our Movement Method Mentors. We aim to expand this pilot program to other cities between 2018 and 2021.
Horse Boy Camps
Other Locations for Families