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Speech and Hippotherapy from CP Discovery

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Hippotherapy is the use of horses to help improve muscle strength, tone and endurance in children with motor deficits.
Cat Thompson, who is certified in Hippotherapy, also uses horses to aid in Speech Therapy.

Thompson tells CP Discovery, "I think people dont realize you have to have the body working, you cant just come in and say- Im just working on the mouth- Im just working on feeding or speech. Everything builds from the core and they have to have core strength and organization to be able to talk." When a patient is on a horse, the way his/her body moves is similar to what the human pelvis experiences while walking. Riding the horse strengthens the core and leads to better overall function.

In other words, Hippotherapy, not only improves physical conditions, it helps children with auditory and verbal processing, communication and interactive skills. "We get kids who are completely non-verbal who are using picture boards or sign language. Then, we get kids who are working on producing sounds more correctly so theres this huge spectrum. I tend to see the more severely involved kinds of kids that I know more about. We see kids who cant even phonate or get a sound out when they are out and about. Once you get them all aligned and the brain is working and everything is symmetricalall of a sudden, they can get it out and thats what Im seeing a lot of. We can do things that I cant do in the clinic."

For more information on Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding or Butterfly Dreams Farm visit: www.butterflydreamsfarm.org For information on CP related therapies: CP Discovery

Tags: Hippotherapy Cerebral Palsy Autism Video