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Girl with autism finds therapy through horses at Fieldstone Farm

Samantha Francetic has not only received therapy but a purpose.

BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- For the past 40 years, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center has provided therapy through horses.

In that time, they have helped thousands of people suffering from a wide range of issues like anxiety, autism and cerebral palsy.

23-year-old Samantha Francetic has seen the benefits of Fieldstone Farm.

Every Saturday, Sam heads to the farm to meet with her 1,200 pound, four-legged friend, Romeo.

It’s a routine she has been doing for the past 12 years.

The two spend the afternoon riding, grooming and simply hanging out. It’s an experience that has been the difference in her treatment and in her life.

“She’s got a diagnosis of autism, ADHD and anxiety disorder,” said Samantha’s mom, Kim. “People with this type of disability tend to have socialization issues. Just a hard find to fit in.”

A hard time to fit in socially, and also a hard fit to find treatment. Samantha and her family had tried it all.

“She did physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychologist, social groups,” Kim said.

None of it worked. That’s until their doctor suggested they check out Fieldstone Farm.

Kim’s initial reaction? Skeptical to say the least.

“I mean, I’m going to put my child on this mammoth animal that she knows nothing about? I was terrified.”

The terror soon turned to pleasure as she quickly saw the impact it has having on her daughter.

“She continues to grow every day and she enjoys life,” said Kim. “There’s nothing more a parent could ask for.”

It’s therapy, but it has also bred a passion and a purpose for Samantha.

“This is her love,” said Kim. “This is her passion. She really shines here.”

Samantha has taken her skills that she has learned at Fieldstone Farm into the workplace where she is employed by the Cleveland Metroparks.

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For more information on Fieldstone Farm click here: http://www.fieldstonefarmtrc.com/

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