The Horse Boy – Rowan Isaacson

In 2007, young Rowan Isaacson gained a new nickname – the Horse Boy. The nickname was a wonderful thing, because it was a love of horses that started Rowan on a path to overcoming his severe autism.

It all began when Rowan met Betsy, a horse belonging to his neighbor. The pair quickly connected, and Rowan began speaking coherently, something he rarely did. Rowan’s dad realized that horses were helping his son. So he took Rowan on a trip to spend time with horses and shamans, or spiritual healers, in Mongolia. And the results were miraculous. This video tells the story of Rowan and his amazing Mongolian trip of healing.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article about Rowan and his dad and their experience with the horses and shamans.
  • Here is another article about Rowan and his incredible trip.

Topics for Discussion:

  • What do you think happened in Rowan’s mind when he got on Betsy?
  • Do you know anyone who is autistic? How are they different from you? How are they similar to you?

Take Action:

  • Visit the Autism Speaks website to learn more about autism and how you can help people with this condition.
  • Visit the website for the Indigenous Land Rights Fund to learn more about this charity that Rowan’s dad started and how you can help.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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