CAS Reflection: Service
Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)
- Recognise and consider the ethics implications of choices and actions.
Working with different riders throughout my time volunteering at RDA has been a really interesting experience. All of my riders so far have had ASD but the way I’ve had to help them differs. There are times where working with certain riders can be really difficult and there are times where it can get frustrating if they do not want to listen or do the activities they have to do. In times like these I try to stay as patient as I can and not let my frustration show as I don’t want to upset the child and make them dislike riding. Additionally, there’s a possibility that getting frustrated will cause the child to become uncomfortable with working with me and/or others which isn’t desirable, so I try to keep my cool and be patient and understanding.
I’ve never been in any conflict with the riders or the staff, though with the rider I’ve just begun working with it can be a little stressful for my friend and I. The rider often throws tantrums as he doesn’t want to do the stretches and he only wants to get on the horse, but what was uncomfortable for us was that we weren’t sure where to ask for help. The staff members are usually busy helping get the arena and the horses ready and sometimes the parents, as in this case, are not as willing to help out. I think in situations like this was where I really needed to consider my actions so we could avoid any extreme conflicts. We chose not to force the child into doing the stretches, and at the end of the session during our reporting, we mentioned it to the staff then as it is a more confidential issue and out of respect for the boy and his father as they may not appreciate it. From mentioning it, the staff could offer us some advice that could help for our next session.
Essentially, I didn’t want to put stress on both the child and his father as they both seemed quite unhappy with the situation. In situations like this, I think it’s important to maintain our composure and push through with a smile so as to not make the child any more uncomfortable. At the same time, discussing it privately is more respectful than discussing it with the parent in cases like this where we might end up risking the child not showing up for sessions anymore.