We have several kids with violence issues and we’ve been really successful. Ru is right - NO SHAME is key. Make it funny and dramatic and super silly and turn it into tickle games. If we work with horses we can take more pain than the average person so it’s going to be okay if he directs it at us. Silly, giant reactions help him with through all the feelings of powerlessness. Make sure you praise the animals for their kindness in his presence but make it about the animal and not about him. I can explain that last part further if you need me to
You can even have him direct a pool noodle fight where he gets to be the king and chooses two of you to be nights and have a sword fight. That puts him in control and sees that this can be silly. Most violence in children comes from not feeling in control. So find a way to give him more control than he can imagine. In front load the experience. By that I mean Lead with keeping a position of power on him as soon as he gets there to be knights..,
Yes Joell is spot on with this and don' t worry about the horses. They will understand and forgive him and it probably won't even happen if it does don't admonish him like you might a neurotypical. Make it funny and silly and politely ignore some of it If you react with outrage on behalf of your horse it'll escalate. So you have to prepare a bombproof horse for him and imagine you were going on a police horse to a soccer match. You're both professionals and will handle it as if it wasn't happening. But like i say it almost certainly won't. Its so easy yo shame without even meaning to. Rehearse the situations that you fear might happen in your mind and imagine you and your horse gliding through them serenely and with humor then you won't accidentally have an emotional reaction that causes shame
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Ok. I love the advice, but what about the other kids? Since he hit a volunteer while looking at the chickens the first visit while we were talking to the mom, what happens if he does hit a kid? Since the parents are there the normal control stuff will probably surface.
how many other kids? do you have enough volunteers to shadow and follow him? It's tricky - sometimes the other kids will show tremendous kindness if your human environment and horse environment is spot on - but that is tricky if you have new or inexperienced volunteers