Author Rupert Isaacson to Receive 2010 Autism Champion Award from Autism Society

Book, Film Brought Hope to Families

BETHESDA, MD (June 23, 2010) — The Autism Society is pleased to name Austin-based author Rupert Isaacson as one of its 2010 Autism Champions. The Autism Society gives Autism Champion awards to organizations or persons who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of all affected by autism.

Isaacson’s book The Horse Boy and its accompanying film give families of children with autism a powerful message that their hopes do not have to end with a diagnosis, that autism brings a different lens from which potential springs. In addition, his work connecting horse therapy programs with the autism community has resulted in greater awareness and opportunity for children with autism to experience riding and the recreational benefits that naturally follow. Isaacson’s message of hope is truly global, and the impact that he has made on the autism community and on families around the world has been tremendous.

“The Horse Boy is a wonderful story that encourages families affected by autism to dare to dream of a better quality of life, even when things seem hopeless,” said Autism Society President and CEO Lee Grossman.

When his son Rowan was diagnosed with autism, Isaacson was devastated. No matter which doctors they saw or therapies they tried, Rowan could not connect with the people around him. But Rowan could connect with animals, in particular a neighbor’s horse. When Isaacson and Rowan rode together, Rowan improved immeasurably. Isaacson knew there was a place in the world that combined horses and healing, but the idea of traveling to the outer reaches of Mongolia seemed absolutely crazy. Still, inspired by his son’s progress, Isaacson pursued the dream literally to the ends of the earth for a chance to heal Rowan and their family. His memoir The Horse Boy and the corresponding documentary film are the chronicle of this amazing journey.


Mr. Isaacson, along with other champions Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.; Dr. Gary Mesibov; U.S. Congressman George Miller; the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative; and the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, will be honored on at the Autism Society’s 41st National Conference in Dallas. The awards will be presented Friday, July 9, 2010 at a special dinner, 7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, 300 Reunion Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, 75207. For more information or to schedule interviews, please contact Carin Yavorcik, Autism Society Media Specialist, at 301-657-0881 x9015

About Autism:

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.

About the Autism Society:

The Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. We do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. For more information, visit


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