Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Horse Boy

posted by Nell Minow

I highly recommend “The Horse Boy,” an extraordinary documentary about a family that traveled to the other side of the world to help their autistic son and found all of their lives changed.

Rowan Isaacson was diagnosed with autism in 2004. The two-year-old his family thought they knew seemed to disappear. He lost the words he had learned.

He began to flap his arms and babble, to obsessively line up his toys, to retreat into himself for hours at a time, to avoid eye contact, to scream uncontrollably, inconsolably, as his nervous system erupted like a series of volcanoes, searing him with burning, with pain, terrifying him, traumatizing him, causing him to ‘fly away’ into an otherworld far from the reaches of his distraught, grieving parents.


But when he was put on horse, he was calm, peaceful, happy. He even started to talk. And so, in 2007, Rowan’s family took him to a place where he could be with horses and healers — Mongolia. Watch this with your families and then talk about what it tells us about love, hope, families, who we are, and what it means to be normal.


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