Wilderwood’s program is summed up with a simple equation:
Wilderwood + Horses + Autistic People = Jobs , Career, Life.
Wilderwood’s unique program combines the power of horses with a career and workplace curriculum designed by autistic people for autistic people to live strong, fulfilling, and independent lives, including:
- Strengthening self-direction and management, self-organization, executive functioning, and communication skills;
- Achieving career and employment goals; and
- Navigating the neurotypical world while remaining true to their autistic selves.
- 9 month, three-semester curriculum equivalent to 9 semester credit hours (SCH) at community college or vocational/trade school;
- Taught and developed by university faculty and educational specialists with input from fields of psychology, medicine, sociology, psychology, and philosophy;
- Unique capstone preceptorship creates transferable work skills and job opportunity.
A Unique Approach
The curriculum differs from most existing work and career training for disabled people in three main ways:
- Designed by autistic people for autistic people, the curriculum comes from a place of knowing and understanding the ways in which the world and learning best makes sense to autistic people;
- Draws on the philosophy of Hautism, or the innate connection between horses and autistic people;
- Combines focus on self-awareness and management with tangible job and career skill guided by educators and other professionals in small groups.
- 5,437,988 American adults are autistic;
- 2/3 do NOT have intellectual impairment, though struggle with executive functioning, self-regulation, and social interaction;
- 80% are more likely to be un/underemployed than other disability groups;
- 85% percent of autistic college graduates are unemployed.
Fees and Facts
- $3,200: Tuition for 9-month program 
- Instructional hours per participant: 64
- Cost per instructional hour: $50
- Counties served: Valencia, Bernalillo, Socorro, Sandoval, Torrance
- Eligible for the Mi Via program
- Registered providers with the New Mexico Department of Vocational Training
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Key Findings: CDC Releases First Estimates of the Number of Adults Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States.” 27 Apr. 2020.
 Hess, Peter. “Autistic People Report Poor Health, Low Life Satisfaction.” Spectrum. 10 Apr. 2020.
 $3,200 for Wilderwood; $3,144 at a community college. Source: Ma, Jennifer et. al. Table 2. Tuition and State Appropriations: Using Evidence and Logic to Gain Perspective. Research Report. The Urban Institute. Feb. 2018, p.10