Our daughter was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome shortly after birth. Caroline fits most of the typical SMS characteristics and more! Caroline is now 12-years-old and in a special sixth grade class in middle school in Henderson, NV.
She is a very happy, healthy, social young lady, participating in the school’s Stomp Club as a dancer/performer and even helping with the choreography. She is also an active member of the Girl Scouts. Caroline is well-known in her community, at school, at the grocery stores, rec centers, libraries, restaurants; you name it, someone there knows her name! She is very lucky to have a wonderful teenage brother, Charlie, who is popular in his own right, and helps to pave the way for Caroline’s reception by people who might otherwise not understand her personality.
“Liney” loves horseback riding and her weekly visits to Spirit Therapies of Las Vegas- therapeutic horseback riding. She loves to be with animals & people. Her communication & confidence skills are further developed by caring for the horses, walking and grooming “Gracie”, the mini horse, interacting with the Director, Laurie, and all of the great “human” volunteers, and even the dogs and cats. Caroline likes the diversity of riding different horses every week; she gets to know their personalities and they get to know hers. She benefits physically from riding; by nature a toe-walker, Caroline walks flat-footed or “normal” and has a more relaxed disposition after her sessions. Caroline is the exhibition rider for many of Spirit Therapies fund raising functions. As you can see in the photo, she is very comfortable riding a horse.
Footnote by brother Charlie:
I think that since Caroline has been going to Spirit Therapies her behavior has definitely matured. Sometimes she will get upset at the littlest thing and she will go into a tantrum or “fit” which, for some reason, gives her super human strength so neither I nor my mom can control her or talk her through the situation. When Caroline does this, it’s hard on the whole family, and when it gets really bad my mom will break down into tears of frustration and I pray to God that some day the “fits” will stop. Now, after almost 2 years of going to Spirit Therapies, Caroline behaves and is able to talk out many of her issues. Sometimes I will go and watch her ride, and all she does on the way home is talk about how fun it was and what she did that was exciting. Spirit Therapies has become an answer to my prayers.
Caroline’s dream would be to someday have her own “Spirit Therapies” ranch. And our dream would be for her dream to come true.