Hippotherapy has been used in the U.S. since the 1970′s. It is still considered an experimental and investigational treatment because there is insufficient scientific evidence for its effectiveness in the treatment of autism, and other conditions characterized by motor dysfunction. However it is said to aid impairments such as abnormal muscle tone; impaired balance, coordination, and sensory function.
The results of a recent study by Bass, Duchowny, and Llabre showed improved social interaction and less inattention and distractibility in autistic children. These findings indicate that hippotherapy may have a place in the treatment of children with autism. However, more studies need to demonstrate its therapeutic effectiveness before hippotherapy is widely recommended as a treatment for autism.
I am so happy that Alexis will have the opportunity to start working with a certified instructor and occupational therapist certified to do hippotherapy who has been in operation since 2003. We meet with her on Wednesday to see what Alexis thinks about the horses and her new adventure in a different type of therapy.
Sharadise Therapeutic Foundation will do private lessons with Alexis which will include hippotherapy, therapeutic riding and additional occupational therapy- on top of her current O/T at Kinny Kids. Sheradise has a heated indoor arena so Alexis could do year round lessons if she likes the program. So excited!!!