Rubert’s son Rowan had normal physical development, but due to autism, he could not interact normally with his loved ones, and cried and screamed for hours when something happened to him that did not suit him.
Rowan, who does not communicate with anyone, started to ride his neighbor’s horse with his father, his language development improved and he started talking to his father. Noticing his son’s unusual connection with animals, Rubert chose Mongolia, a country with traditional animal husbandry and shamanism, to treat his son and came with his family in 2007. As a result of his four-week trip to Mongolia, his son’s tantrums and tantrums were significantly reduced, he learned to talk to his parents and groom himself like a normal child.
The story of this family’s complicated, difficult and wonderful journey has been made famous in the book and documentary film The Horse Kid. This story has been a great inspiration to parents of children with autism and has helped raise awareness of autism in some countries.
I spoke with M. Narangerel, the founder of the company “Nomadic trails”, who welcomed the Rubert Isaacson family to their country, accompanied them throughout the trip and acted as a guide.
– Let’s start the interview with how you contacted with Rubert’s family and why they decided to come to our country.
– In 2006, there is a family traveling to Mongolia from an English client company. I received a request to organize this trip. This request was followed by the family of Robert Isaacson, who has a young child with autism. Before coming to Mongolia, the boy’s father did a lot of research. Rubert was a freelance journalist who worked closely with the indigenous people of Africa, so he had a lot of information about shamanic practices. African natives advised that it would be good to take your autistic child to a country with horse and shaman culture. According to him, the country with horses and shamans is our country. When I brought my son to Mongolia, we communicated online for a year. Rubert Isaacson, his wife Christine and son Rowan came to Mongolia in July 2007. The journey lasted 28 days.
– Was it difficult to find a shaman? How did you choose?
– I studied a lot about shamans. In Ulaanbaatar, there was a shaman’s association called “Golomt”. The association requested that shamans from all corners of Mongolia vomit into the mouth of the Great Sky with nine shamans, such as Khalkh, Buriad, and Darhad, and performed the ritual.
– How did the journey continue after the ritual of the nine shamans?
– After completing the ritual of the nine shaman, we went to Kishig-Ondur sum in Bulgan Province. From there, he planned to take a horse and enter Khuvsgul province. He traveled from Kishig-Ondur Sum to Bayan-Agt Sum on horseback, and realizing that he could not continue on horseback, he returned his horse. I went by car to Ulaan-Uul Sum in Khuvsgul Province and reached Taiga by horse. It’s a difficult path even for an ordinary person.
– It was a time when people didn’t want to go to the taiga. What was the reason for going to Taiga?
– The purpose was to go to Taiga and meet Sayan Udgan. On the way, I met a son of the Sayan clan and told him that it had been a year since he passed away. Then we were advised to visit Gosta Zayran in the western taiga. At first there was a problem with the reception. After many hours of discussion and explaining the reasons, Zayran repaired them.
– How did you contact the Taiga people? It must have been difficult to contact them.
– I went to Tzaatangas only for training. A person living in Ulaan-Uul Suman did not know that Sayan Udgan had passed away a year ago. Tzaatans live so mysteriously. Travelers do not go on trips to the taiga because it is difficult. There was a time when I only went to film. In 2008, the U.S. citizen Morgan’s “Faith” Foundation established a partnership called “Immigrant Information Center” for immigrants, and trained immigrants on how to do tourism. After working well for 2-3 years, the person who was in charge made a problem of eating money with the same mongolian trap and made the project disappear. But since then, it has become easier for companies to sell taiga tours. Until the arrival of the mobile phone network, people in the taiga were communicating with the people via short waves. Ulaanbaatar has one microwave station in the western and eastern taiga. It used to transmit information about the weather and how many people would be there when.
– Do families who want to cure their children with autism communicate you a lot?
– After this event, autistic children from all over the world came to Mongolia. But that journey is very difficult. Not everyone will have the same results. It only explains that there is no such thing as magic. They say don’t have too high expectations. Many foreign families with young and teenage men, women, and twins received many requests, so we traveled with them on many trips. Among them were parents who came only to distract their children from cell phone addiction and drug addiction. But there are many examples of good and beautiful changes in children. For example, an autistic child who had never spoken to his parents came down from the tai and told his mother that he loved her. His mother was very happy.
Because of the problem of further harming people who are getting tired, I stopped connecting with some shamans.
– Autistic children are given a wide variety of medications to calm them down. Rubert tried to treat his son in a different way.
– Autistic children are forced to drink drugs containing heavy metals to calm them down. Treatment of children with autism in the United States is controlled by the government. So there is a lot of pressure on parents. Because of this, Rupert intended to show that nature can regulate man because he is a natural being. He wrote very nice things about Mongolia in his book. A slightly different perception has been created in the society.
– This story is very famous in the world. The documentary is translated into Mongolian. But why is the book published in such a small number?
-Bitpress Publishing House took the publishing rights of the book “Mortoi Jaal Mongolian” and translated it into Mongolian, printed 300 copies and stopped the publication. Shamans said, “I healed this child.” Due to the high degree of polarization, the publication of the book was stopped. Without our permission, Mongolian TV stations were airing the documentary film “Kid with a Horse”. There were problems such as spelling wrong names of people and places. We gave notices to the TV stations that distributed the rights directly to the public without getting the rights to the big project, the rights of which were sold for one million dollars. Rupert has given our company the right to broadcast the documentary “The Kid with the Horse” on TV.
– What do you think contributed to Rowan’s recovery?
– In addition to shamans, shaman’s behavior may have influenced children by the beauty of nature, medicinal plants, and animals. We also went to places with unique natural formations such as Sharga Lake and Hanuy Hot Spring in Bulgan Province. Rowan was very relaxed after being out in the country and slept very well. Sometimes I sleep until 2 pm.
Autistic children are very good at bonding with animals. It must be an underworld. He grabbed the tail of the horse on the family rope and hugged it by the leg. A Mongolian horse is a tribe that rubs and gets dirty when it is ridden from the wrong side, even if it is hugged by its hind legs. The horse did not respond to the foreign child’s actions. Becomes very docile and submissive.
– Did Rubert’s family come to Mongolia again?
– He has not come to Mongolia since this incident. The next project is being discussed. Rowen has a younger brother. Some people say that Robert divorced his wife. Even we do not notice any signs that he is with his wife. I don’t dare to ask my wife if he is divorced.
– Are you still contact to Rowan now? Is the body normal?
– Now Rowan expresses himself freely, engages in social relations, and works independently as an assistant in a construction company. This is the result of the father’s relentless fight for his child. Rubert managed to be tireless and relentless. Most of the time, fathers give up. Mothers stay with their children. Family breaks up. Rubert is credited with making fathers strong, encouraging, working with their children and seeing them differently. Thanks to Rubert’s good work with the child, Rowan now lives freely with others and himself.