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July 26, 2010

by Roseann Keegan

Once fearful of animals, 10-year-old Keegan Yaghlegian now runs to grab his cowboy boots and hat every Sunday when he gets to ride Violet at Kids & Horses in Minden.

Keegan, a special education student at Sierra House Elementary School, was diagnosed with mild autism a few months after his second birthday.

The signs of autism appeared when Keegan was 18-months-old. His speech began to regress and he made less eye contact with his parents, Dick and Lauren Yaghlegian, who go by the shortened last name of Yost.

Then the Yosts, who own the Village Board Shop in South Lake Tahoe, attended a fundraiser for Kids & Horses, a Carson Valley nonprofit that provides equine therapy to adults and children with special needs. Keegan was on the waiting list for three years. Then in 2007, just as the Yosts were about to give up on the program, a spot opened.

Lauren Yost said the change was instant. Keegan was making more eye contact. There was some unexpected speech when they got in the car after a lesson. Today, he’s no longer afraid of cats, dogs and other animals.

Read More …  http://www.recordcourier.com/article/20100726/NEWS/100729903/1062&ParentProfile=1049



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