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Deborah Lipsky and Will Richards to Deliver Keynote at NARHA National Conference

Denver— NARHA announced today that Deborah Lipsky and Dr. Will Richards have been signed as keynote speakers for the 2008 NARHA National Conference and Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT on October 30. Their presentation is titled “Horses and Individuals with Autism: a Natural Therapeutic Relationship”

Deborah Lipsky holds a masters degree in education and counseling and she presents workshops on autism across the USA to healthcare workers and laypersons. Diagnosed with high functioning autism, she has found her own unique solutions and strategies for coping with autism as an adult. She has a way of letting audiences “feel” what it is like to be autistic and her interactive style keeps audiences riveted. She received the 2005 Autism Society of Maine’s outstanding volunteer award and the Temple Grandin Award in 2006.

Will Richards, Ph.D is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Maine who works with individuals who have cognitive, behavorial, emotional and social challenges. A former university professor, inpatient administrator and clinical director, he now works almost exclusively with people diagnosed within the autism spectrum.

Lipsky and Richards have developed an innovative approach to handling autistic meltdowns called S.C.A.R.E.D. Their presentation will explore communications between equines and autistic people, including the special nature of this bond and the similarities between equine and autistic sensibilities and habits.

Michael Ganey of Pfizer will also present a keynote speech at the NARHA National Conference. For more information about the NARHA National Conference or to register, please visit the NARHA website at http://www.narha.org

About NARHA:

NARHA was formed in 1969 to promote equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. At over 700 member centers, a total of 42,000 children and adults find a sense of independence through involvement with horses. These member centers range from small, one-person programs to large operations with several certified instructors and licensed therapists. In addition to therapeutic equitation, a center may offer any number of equine assisted activities including hippotherapy, equine facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work, or stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. There are more than 24,000 volunteers, 2000 instructors, 5,700 therapy horses and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at NARHA centers.


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