During my childhood, I was exposed to various animals. Primarily, I was exposed to horses and dogs. When I was younger, I engaged in horse riding to help my balance. This activity included grooming and riding horses at a ranch. The trainers there knew what they were doing and made sure I was safe. This experience was interesting because I was not acclimated to being around horses at the time and this activity got me comfortable around them.

Likewise, dogs have helped me control my ASD. I was mainly around Shetland Sheepdogs at my house. I used the dogs for dog shows during some weekends. When I was in fifth grade, I was featured on a TV show called Dogs 101 on Animal Planet. This was really surprising to me because I got to be featured on TV, which got me excited. I was featured because the dogs I used for showing helped me control my ASD and they wanted to feature me in a segment of the TV show. For the show, I participated in a dog show in Central Virginia and did some agility training in Bealeton, VA at Liberty Hill Pet Resort. The dog I mainly used for the show was Foster, one of the Shetland Sheepdogs my family have. This taping and the dog shows I participated in helped me with my ASD because it allowed me to handle and show the dogs in an environment that I was not used to, as well as learning about my body placement in relation to others.

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