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Oct 14

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The Benefits of Hippotherapy for Autism

The Benefits of Hippotherapy for Autism

The Benefits of Hippotherapy for Autism

Hippotherapy is growing in popularity among the various treatment options for autism. It refers to using equine therapy to help children and adults who have autism. The connection they form with the animals is producing positive results.

The American Hippotherapy Association mentions that this type of treatment is usually part of an overall care plan to help those who have autism. Both parents and children notice the impact of horseback riding. The benefits include a greater connection to animals, better social skills, improved behavior and skill development.

The combination of using professionals who focus on treating autism patients during hippotherapy can produce even more benefits. Trained professionals can customize the horseback riding experience for each child and create an individual plan. Instead of a typical office setting, these professionals incorporate nature into the treatment plan. This allows for a different sensory experience that can help children and adults with autism overcome various challenges.

The benefits of hippotherapy differ for each person, but better coordination and balance is often seen in children. In addition, horseback riding can help them appreciate animals and can build strong bonds. Parents and caretakers often mention that hippotherapy improves their ability to follow directions and listen to others.

Equine therapy offers more than simple horseback riding. It allows children and adults to learn how to care for the animals and get involved in the grooming process. This creates the opportunity for different therapy lessons that do not feel tedious or boring. Plus, it gives children and adults with autism the chance to learn new skills.

Hippotherapy can be an effective alternative treatment for many autism cases. However, it is important to let the children or adults with autism explore the new experience without pushing them. They need to connect with the horses and feel comfortable, so they do not feel fear or hesitation.

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12 comments

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  1. 1
    Sandra Watts

    This is helpful. I know people that use it.

    1. 1.1
      Colleen

      Thanks for sharing this Sandra!

  2. 2
    Raine

    This is wonderful, I know how much therapy animals help people but hearing about horses is a first for me.

    1. 2.1
      Colleen

      It’s wonderful isn’t it how so many venues with animals help!

  3. 3
    pgorczycki

    I HAVE A FRIEND WHO HAS A DAUGHTER WHO IS AUTISTIC. THEY ARE USING DOG’S FOR HER. THEY SEE A CHANGE IN HER BUT WHEN SHE COMES SHE’S A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSON. I’M GOING TO EMAIL THIS TO MYSELF SO THE NEXT TIME I SEE HER I CAN SEND IT TO HER.

    1. 3.1
      Colleen

      thanks for sharing! My grandson is on the spectrum so I know how important it is to find something that helps them communicate.

  4. 4
    Lulu

    This is very helpful information for some of my friends. I don’t think many people heard about horses helping kids…

  5. 5
    Deb E

    I have read this kind of therapy has been successful also with eating disorders and post traumatic stress disorder. I just love horses and I can see how soothing they can be. I’m sure it can be an expense to run the program though.

  6. 6
    Rosie

    I never heard of hippotherapy before, I would have assumed it has to do with hippos! This sounds wonderful and nice to have something helpful that is all fun and enjoyment.

    1. 6.1
      Colleen

      It was new to me too Rosie! You think they could have found a better name for that kind of therapy…hahaha

  7. 7
    Rachel

    I have never heard of this. I know animals help with most everything. Awesome!

  8. 8
    janie vezina

    my child benefits greatly when his school brings in animals. trying to get him into horse riding.

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