Hippotherapy works for children with Special Needs
All parents have dreams for their children. I know for myself I dream that my children will grow up to be independent, confident, contributing members of society. To that end I continue to research various therapies and "out of the box" solutions to help my boys become as successful as possible in their lives.
One of the therapies that I have done with my younger son is Hippotherapy. The goals that we had for this therapy were related to his Cerebral Palsy but I do know that many parents use this for their children with Autism and Down Syndrome with great success. K loved his sessions. The warmth from the horse's body worked wonders at relaxing his tight inner thigh muscles and the rocking motion of the horse's walk encouraged development of K's core muscle group and the result was improved sitting skills.
You can get more information about Hippotherapy from http://www.americanhippotherapyassociation.org/aha_about_aha.htm and for a list of centres offering this therapy check out this site http://www.cpparent.org/hippotherapy/states.htm#Canada. There is also the http://www.narha.org/ for even more information.
Here is a story on CNN about a family that have seen great results from hippotherapy.
- Family travels across Mongolia so autistic son can ride horses, meet shaman
- Experts say riding horses can be effective in gaining access to autistic children
- Rowan Isaacson's language and temper improved with horse/shaman therapy
- His parents never abandoned more orthodox treatments for Rowan's autism