Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Attention, Stop and Do

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex one. To work with children with autism we need passion! Without it there will be no efficacy. From all the medical conditions usual to the hippotherapy domain, I believe autism is the one that takes more advantage. My first case with severe ASD (five years old) started three months ago. The child was not able to be in the same place for more than four seconds. To put the helmet on his head, we needed to contain him in a corner! The transition to horseback lasted two sessions, but was easy - bubbles were a great help!! Once on horseback, we were forced to walk, otherwise the child started tantrum. Nowadays, after twelve sessions, the child increased his eye contact from avoiding to +/-15 seconds - obviously when he likes the activity!!
His oral/verbal imitation is poor, but we can get it sometimes! The first goal was to be calm when the horse was with no motion - we got it mainly with exterior walks. Then, my partner, and me established the second goal - the child should say "go" based on verbal repetition, to induce horse walk! Consistency and persistence are keys/triggers when we are working. Sometimes it is difficult, but two sessions later, the child said it with NO clues!

MOTIVATION is, undoubtedly, one of the keys!

"You need to work, I'm the crazy!"

Today, while my partner and I were working with a group of patients with schizophrenia in the therapeutic carriage driving, one of the patients told something really funny!! Answering to my partner, who was asking him to get to work, the patient said:
"You need to work, I'm the crazy!"
All of us started laughing, including him!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Welcome and... keep in touch!

Welcome to my new blog. The main goal is to share my experiences as speech therapist working with hippotherapy as strategy. My professional field is Speech Language Pathology and I have large experience with horses. I believe, and this is my motivation, that horses are a great bridge to achieve communicative effectiveness from most of our clients. Every day I do some hours of professional practice using this strategy/tool.