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Hippotherapy and Children with Autism

Editor’s Note:  Yes, this is a small study, but results were quite significant!
[Source:  AJOT via Your Therapy Source]]
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy published a pilot study on 6 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who participated in 45 minute hippotherapy sessions for 12 weeks.  To determine pre and post intervention scores the following were used: the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales–II, the Child Activity Card Sort, force plates and a video motion capture system and force plates.
The results indicated the following:

  • significant decrease in postural sway post hippotherapy
  • significant increase in overall adaptive behavior particularly receptive communication and coping
  • significant increase in self care skills, low demand leisure skills and social interactions

The authors concluded that “hippotherapy has a positive influence on children with ASD and can be a useful treatment tool for this population”.
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