With Horses and iPads, Children with Autism Learn to Communicate
[Source: Science Daily]
Luke, a 7-year-old boy with autism had primarily only expressed requests to his parents (e.g., I want a drink), but this past year he was given a 1-pound iPad, introduced to a 1,000 pound horse and a special program called Strides©. During the concentrated eight-week Strides© program, Luke used the iPad to have his first two-way conversation, share his feelings and tell his new friends about how he lost his tooth.
Children with autism have great difficulty developing verbal communications skills; 40 percent are, like Luke, nonverbal. Southern Tier Alternative Therapies, Inc. (STAT), together with Tina Caswell, a clinical faculty member in Ithaca College’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, is addressing this issue by combining equine therapy and assistive technology through an exclusive program called Strides©. Though both therapy approaches have been proven effective independently, they have
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