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The horse boy : The DONG-A ILBO

A boy ran towards where the neighbor’s horses were assembled. He laid beside the horses and giggled. It was a dangerous moment as the boy might be trodden by the hoofs of the horses. However, the horses did not budge at all. In fact, a particularly wild mare, the leader of the five horses, lowered her head and gently licked the boy. It was a sign of voluntary submission.

It was an astonishing episode, given that the boy was unable to understand what others meant to say and was not potty-trained even by the age of six. He yelled in protest all the time—the boy was autistic. Yet the horses gave in to him. Can the horse better understand the boy than the boy’s own parents? The parents sought advice from an autistic zoology professor. “Animals think in image; I think with imagery, and so do many autistic people. Animals are visual thinkers,” the professor said. “That is why many autistic people better bond with animals.” It was not…

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