“Explore The Spectrum” with Dr. Rebecca Evanko from Wilderwood

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Dr. Rebecca Evanko
Executive Director at Wilderwood
Website Address: https://wilderwoodequinetherapy.org

Each week on Explore the Spectrum, our host Jeanetta Bryant discusses the latest news and developments related to autism, as well as providing expert insights and advice to our audience. Be ready for anything by listening to what these insiders have to say. This week, Jeanetta speaks with Dr. Rebecca Evanko from Wilderwood.

To learn more, visit https://wilderwoodequinetherapy.org.

Short company description:

Wilderwood’s innovative autistic led, equine inspired programs, research, and services open opportunities of possibility for autistic adults, children, and youth. Wilderwood also provides a lifetime home for unwanted horses, and educates the community about autism and horses.

What Is Your Why (Why Are You In Business)?

We want to open sustainable and achievable pathways for autistic people to flourish as thriving members of their communities, and to honor, care, and educate about our equine partners. It is, quite simply, our life’s work.

How did you get started in your field or work?

We started, literally, five years ago with a laptop in our living room and an idea to make the world a better place for autistic people as well as horses.

What’s one thing we should know that makes your company unique?

It was co-founded and is currently led by an autistic Grade 9 high-school dropout whose parents abandoned her at the age of 15 — who went on to gain a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Cognitive Linguistics and who is now in the process of gaining a second M.A. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling.

What are your biggest goals in the next 6 to 12 Months for your business?

To put into action our ASAP concept: Autistic Self-Advocacy Program. This is a local, grassroots advocacy collective led by autistic people gathering autistic-friendly and supportive businesses, services, and other aspects of life into a readily searchable online database.

Who do you know that is impacted by Autism and how has that impacted you?

I am autistic; Wilderwood has neurodivergent Board members; autistic people are actively involved in developing and providing our services and programs, and our facility has become a thriving autistic community.