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At Healing Horses Therapeutic Riding Center we believe with appropriate individualized services, support, therapy and information, children with autism spectrum disorders will grow, learn and flourish. We will be utilizing a multi-prong therapeutic approach that will produce positive changes in critical areas of development including but not limited to core muscle strength, improved balance, speech and vocalizations, positive behavior, self esteem, visual motor and spatial skills. The goal is to maximize the child's functioning in their homes, schools and communities by increasing their language, reducing negative behaviors, increasing core muscle strength, improving relationships with peers, parents, teachers and caregivers, peer play, joint attention, self care and overall self esteem and independence.
· Started April 15, 2008 by Gabriele Lawrence and Marcia Levine with 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder child and quickly grew to over 25 children affected by Autism within 1 month's time. · Currently we have over 40 children ranging in age from 2 years old to 25 years of age. Children currently enrolled are affected by Autism , CP, Down's syndrome, Sensory Integration Disorder and Language delays. · Weekly 60 minute lessons per child limited to 6 participants per group lesson. Each child is assigned to an experienced horse leader as well as walk along volunteers as individually needed to be successful. · Ongoing data collection via weekly progress reports, parent and therapist input, as well as regular team meetings for reviewing the effectiveness of the program for each child. Outcomes will vary for each child depending on several factors such as; age at start of therapy, child's physical and cognitive abilities. · Stages of Program Therapy: As child moves thru the program stages individualized adjustment will be done. v Stage #1 - Individual short and long term goals are established for each participant via consult with Program Director, Speech Therapist and Family. Child is initially started off on a western saddle (no reins) with horse leader and 2 walk along volunteers. Once all therapeutic lessons on the western saddle is mastered either with/without reins via direct observation from the Program Director the child moves to the next stage. v Stage #2 - Child is moved to an English saddle (no reins) with horse leader and 2 walk along volunteers. Once all therapeutic lessons on the English saddle is mastered either with/without reins via direct observation from the Program Director the child moves to the next stage. v Stage #3 - Child is moved to bareback pad with lead line reins along with horse leader and 2 walk along volunteers. Once all therapeutic lessons on bareback pad are mastered we move to next stage. v Stage #4 - Child is able to work all therapeutic lessons with reins appropriately on any type of saddle or bareback. v Stage #5 - Child is mainstreamed into a program with typical peers
- marcia levine
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