Research Question: Does engagement in hippotherapy improve postural control and handwriting legibility in children with ASD?
Research Description: The Central Nervous System (CNS) of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder can become disorganized, which can affect their social, emotional, communication, and language functions. Hippotherapy can help a client’s CNS become more organized through its repetitive and rhythmic nature, increasing the effectiveness of these functions.
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) exhibit difficulty with handwriting legibility. According to Scordella et. al (2015), 37% of elementary school-aged children struggle with handwriting legibility. Studies have shown that elementary school teachers attribute poor handwriting to poor postural control. Postural control not only affects handwriting, but it impacts all aspects of occupation. Many intervention approaches exist to assist in improving postural control. Hippotherapy is one intervention for improving postural control. While literature shows a link between involvement in hippotherapy and increased postural control in the population of children with Cerebral Palsy (Zadnikar & Kastrin, 2011), there is no research on hippotherapy as an intervention for postural control in children with ASD.
In total 10 subjects will be chosen for this study once completed application and inclusion eligibility have been determined. Treatment sessions will consist of one to three subjects per session. Each session will be 45 minutes in length but may vary based on the introduction of study, cooperation of horse and client, testing duration, and transfers for up to four separate sessions per client. The treatment sessions will include up to three riders per 45 minute intervals. The subject’s times will be staggered every 15 minutes so that proper instruction of testing items may be provided from researchers. For example, subject 1 will start at 1:00 pm and end at 1:45pm, subsequently another subject will begin at 1:15 pm and end at 2:00 pm, then another subject will start at 1:30 pm and end at 2:15 pm and so on until all 10 subjects have been tested.
Certified Therapeutic Riding instructors or certified volunteers will aid in transferring the client on and off of the horse. If the subject at any time feels uncomfortable or chooses not to participate they can stop at any time, it is their responsibility to notify the volunteers or instructor that they would like to stop and the instructor or volunteer will transfer the subject off of the horse.
Quantitative data will be collected before and after individual treatment sessions with each subject via a pre and post-test using both standardized and nonstandardized assessments such as the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA) and the Nintendo Wii™
This 2 day course will provide therapists the basics of how to start a private therapy practice incorporating hippotherapy as a treatment strategy. It will include information for administrators in the horse industry, including those currently offer equine assisted activities, how to develop/add a therapy practice or partnership with one into their current business model. Topics will include: business plan development, budget and contracts, location and clinic requirements, staffing and support personnel, CPT code and billing information, for profit and non-profit marketing strategies and more.
HELP US REACH OUR GOAL TODAY!
In honor of #GivingTuesday, Ride-On Ranch has been challenged by an anonymous donor to raise $1000 in one day. Any money raised will be instantly matched! Doubled! That means your $20 becomes $40, $40 becomes $80 and your $100 becomes $200! Let’s Do This Together!
How can you help the Ranch today?
$20 -> Facility use for a day of therapy
$40 -> A new helmet
$100 -> 1 Session of therapeutic services
$500 -> Sponsors a day of therapeutic services
Support Ride-On Ranch Today! – GIVE
Would you like a Ride-On Ranch T-shirt? We’re giving away ROR shirts to anyone who makes a $25 donation or more!
Make sure to include your size and address when you make a donation HERE
Support a Client or Horse Today!
Mary Kay – Barbara Bramhall
Stella & Dot – Stephanie Lima
Author John Hickman
Loudoun County 4-H
Thank you to all of those who joined us for this great day! Your generous support is greatly appreciated!
Thank you for the wonderful silent auction items
Here We Grow
Another Turn Tack
Pottery By Hands
Custom Cowgirl Creations
Embrace the Reins, Stella & Dot, Carpe Diem Wellness, Wisconsin Cheeses, Diane Connolly, Mary Ann Kelley, Belisle Corp., Kaleen Gorman,
Join us on Saturday May 7th for Ride-On Ranch’s Open House! Vendors. Raffle. Silent Auction. Gourmet Food and Wine.
12 pm – Vendors open. Silent Auction begins
1 pm – Hippotherapy demonstration
2 pm – Social hour and food service
3 pm – Appreciation Ceremony
4 pm – Vendors close. Silent Auction ends
– Embrace the Reins basket, Here We Grow summer camp, Wayside Farm Family pack
– Stella & Dot Gift Basket, Beach Bum Ready Gear Bag, Hand Crafted Glasswork
– Wine Lover’s Dream Basket, Good To The Last Lemon-Drop
– Ride-On Ranch T-shirts, Doggie Lovin’ Basket and much more!