GURNEE — Children with autism and other disabilities are finding help on horseback through a Gurnee equine therapy program.

Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 3, Charlie Sims had difficulty interacting with people. He didn’t even like looking at them, said his mother, Annamaria Sims of Lake Zurich.

Sims and her husband, Jeffrey, decided to combine Charlie’s love of animals with behavioral therapy and enrolled him at Partners for Progress, which operates at Fields and Fences Equestrian Center, 36550 N. Hunt Club Road.

“We were trying to get into his world,” said Sims, 37, who works full-time as an account manager for a database company. “The minute he walked in there, it was like this light went on.”

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