Joe's Story

Joseph (Joe) Banks is a six year old boy who has cerebral palsy.

Joe is severely disabled and is unable to walk or talk. However, he has the wants and needs of any six year old. He can indicate yes when asked questions by looking up and no by looking down.

Joe’s ability to exercise is severely restricted so his family was thrilled when he was selected to take part in the Riding for the Disabled Program held at Raymond Terrace as they knew that it would help in developing his muscle strength.

Joe has attended the program for three years and in 2016 has just commenced his fourth year.

What have been the benefits and outcomes of Joe attending the program?

Firstly he has met Carol and her wonderful band of Tuesday volunteers. This group greet Joe and all other riders with a welcoming smile and genuine warmth and affection. This makes Joe feel wanted as part of a group and has been hugely successful in helping in his social development and acceptance of people outside his own family.

The horse riding has helped in the development of Joe’s muscular structure, he has grown much stronger and is able to use this strength in attempting to sit up and control his head movements. However, Jo has a special dispensation from RDA which allows him to ride without a helmet, this is due to its weight and his inability to hold his head up with it on.

This is Joe riding on Gypsy in his early riding career, if you look carefully you can see the hand supporting his neck from the side walker, volunteer

Here Joe has a roller covered in foam and a towel to support his body too, this helps to prevent him getting sore. He also has lots of padding underneath him so he is as comfortable as possible.

Joe has developed an affection for “his horse, Dora” and he enjoys being around the other horses at the stables. He shows no fear or worry at being near these huge animals and he attempts to pat and touch the horses.
Joe on Dora when he came to ride just before Easter when he had a lovely time looking for eggs.    

Joe enjoys his riding activities as he is aware that he is receiving something special aimed at helping his physical growth and development.
Joe’s family see the RDA program as a very important part of Joe’s growth and development both socially and physically.

Peter Laing

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© 2014 RDA Raymond Terrace & Lower Hunter
PO Box 624 Raymond Terrace, NSW 2324
'Irrawang Park', 3219 Pacific Highway, Raymond Terrace
Phone: (02) 4987 1402
Fax: (02) 4987 1434
Email: raymondterrace@rdansw.org.au
NDIS Service Provider Number: 31971831