Venue

Campus Center

Major

Health Sciences and Anthrozoology

Field of Study

Equine Assisted Inverventions

Abstract

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to determine the effects of equine-assisted interventions (EAI) on children aged 3 to 16 years of age with autism in order to further increase knowledge about EAI as an intervention for children with autism.

Methods: Articles were screened on PubMed and CINAHL databases for relationships between equine-assisted interventions and effects on autistic behavior or autistic severity in children with autism.

Results: Studies showed that children receiving EAI improved in social functioning, social skills, motor skills, attention and focus, empathizing, irritability, maladaptive behavior, motivation, executive functioning, quality of life, length of gait cycle, mood and tone towards parents, and overall autistic severity. However, one study which measured a variety of autistic behaviors found no change in communication or social skills and another which also measured autistic behavior found no change in fine motor skills, social cognition, and social awareness. Finally, one study found that during intermittent 6 week breaks from therapeutic riding, the decrease in autistic severity observed immediately following therapy returned to baseline.

Conclusions: Equine-assisted interventions seem to decrease autistic severity and improve autistic behaviors in children with autism. Current practice for treating autism should not change, but equine-assisted interventions should be more strongly considered when trying to find the most effective treatment option for children with autism.

Start Date

20-4-2018 2:45 PM

End Date

20-4-2018 3:45 PM

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Apr 20th, 2:45 PM Apr 20th, 3:45 PM

The Effects of Equine-Assisted Interventions on Children with Autism: a Systematic Review

Campus Center

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to determine the effects of equine-assisted interventions (EAI) on children aged 3 to 16 years of age with autism in order to further increase knowledge about EAI as an intervention for children with autism.

Methods: Articles were screened on PubMed and CINAHL databases for relationships between equine-assisted interventions and effects on autistic behavior or autistic severity in children with autism.

Results: Studies showed that children receiving EAI improved in social functioning, social skills, motor skills, attention and focus, empathizing, irritability, maladaptive behavior, motivation, executive functioning, quality of life, length of gait cycle, mood and tone towards parents, and overall autistic severity. However, one study which measured a variety of autistic behaviors found no change in communication or social skills and another which also measured autistic behavior found no change in fine motor skills, social cognition, and social awareness. Finally, one study found that during intermittent 6 week breaks from therapeutic riding, the decrease in autistic severity observed immediately following therapy returned to baseline.

Conclusions: Equine-assisted interventions seem to decrease autistic severity and improve autistic behaviors in children with autism. Current practice for treating autism should not change, but equine-assisted interventions should be more strongly considered when trying to find the most effective treatment option for children with autism.