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Posted 23 November 2008 - 11:34 PM
My dd. was diagnosed with Infantile Autism recently. But we have been doing sensory integratioon exercises since she was 1 year old. She is 4½ years old, and has benefitted from it.
Sarah LOVES animals. They have brought her out of her own world. She has realized that they have needs too.
Granny has a dog, whom she gets to pet, feed goodies, walk together with granny.
We have a cat at home, who she loves to pet, talk to, feed.
The best sensory, gross motor skills integration that she attends is Hippo Therapy every Friday afternoon. Horseback riding while doing different exercises on the horse´s back and play some games while sitting on the horse.
She gets to train her balance, muscles, sensory motor skills all the way around. AND she gets DIRTY while working with the pony, and the smell of everything there, in the stables, the pony himself, touching his soft mouth, his rough hairs, soft fur, hard hooves. She gets to participate in everything - getting Lasse ready for the ride, and getting him ready to go back to the stable.
Pony´s name is Lasse (Lassie)Sarah ADORES Lasse, speaks of him and other horses
She gets to sit in different saddles... some hard.... some soft. Sometimes she gets to ride without a saddle.
Touching the horse, the brushes used to groom the horse,cleaning the hooves, saddle the horse, getting up on it and down again, smelling the horse and everything around them, feel the wind, riding in the woods, in the barn, on the road, in the field, naming everything that she does, name horse´s parts and her own, steering the horse, feeding it you name it.
Soft fabric added to the saddle.
Using traffic signs: She has to name some of them.
Riding with gym ring to improve balance and muscles.
Playing "bowling" having to turn them over with a small ball, name the colours and number of those hit.
Holding a drawing in one hand and the reins with the other. Balance, focus and muscles, verbal training.
baby bro on his first ride:
Clearing up the mess: Sensory motor skills: Getting hands and fingers dirty.
The pony is eagerly waiting for Sarah to feed him carrots as "thank you for letting me ride on you, protect me and be nice to me".
Sarah feeds the pony with carrots. Yummie: Lasse loooves carrots and Sarah knows this. He needs food, warmth, praise etc just like she does.
It works for Sarah. But that does not mean it will work for all children with disabilities. Some just don´t like horses. But there are SO many benefits in this for SN children. That I thought I should share with you.
Some physical therapists may just be content putting the child on a horse and let the child ride around, not doing much else. That is not good enough. It takes more to train children with special needs.
Posted 24 November 2008 - 04:56 AM
I thankyou for taking the time to share the benefits of "Lassie Therapy" . I'll look into that most definitely as mine has a lot of problems with spacial issues and perhaps being high on a horse would help her 'get' this????
Gotta be in it to win it, right?
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