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Rainbow Horses Background

Rainbow Horses Background Information

Rainbow Horses Learning Centre CIC was founded in 2011 by Sue Coombes, a qualified teacher with a specialism in science and music, who worked at Sutherland House School, a specialist autism provision, for 15 years. She has over 20 years’ experience of working with autistic children and young people of all intellectual abilities and support needs including Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).

Sue was trained in working with children and young people with PDA by Elizabeth Newson who first described this atypical presentation of autism. Sue was also part of the working group with Phil Christie and Ruth Fidler that led to the publication of their book, Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals.

As part of whole school training Sue also received extensive training in Sensory Integration from an Occupational Therapist who also provided additional 1:1 support to deliver sensory diets for individual children in her class. She continues to learn more about sensory integration and interoception as this is an important area impacting on most of the children we work with.

Sue trained in Equine Assisted Learning through EAQ® (www.equineassistedqualifications.com) and in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy through The Herd Institute (http://herdinstitute.com/). Rainbow Horses learning Centre is an EAQ Approved Centre.

Sue is also a BACP registered child counsellor who trained at the Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education (https://www.artspsychotherapy.org/ ) to provide counselling through playful use of the arts. As part of this training she attended workshops with Dan Hughes (http://www.danielhughes.org/p.a.c.e..html )on using the PACE approach (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy) with children who have experienced developmental trauma. She also took part in a one day Sensory Attachment Integration training by Eadaoin Bhreathnach (https://www.sensoryattachmentintervention.com/ ) at The Centre for Child Mental Health.