Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Research from 2015 to 2016

Here is a list of references of scientific papers relating speech pathology and therapeutic use of horses from 2015 to 2016.

Used search strings:
-Google Scholar: (hippotherapy OR (therapeutic riding)) AND (speech OR (speech therapy) OR (speech pathology))
-Pubmed: (hippotherapy[Title/Abstract] OR therapeutic riding[Title/Abstract]) AND (speech[Title/Abstract] OR language[Title/Abstract] OR communication[Title/Abstract])

  • Gabriels, Robin L., et al. "Randomized controlled trial of therapeutic horseback riding in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 54.7 (2015): 541-549.
  • Thrall, Anna, and Matthew Moser. "Effects of hippotherapy on coordination of speech in a person with traumatic brain injury." (2015).
  • Mourey, Alyssa. The benefits of therapeutic horseback riding on the expressive language of toddlers who present with delays. Diss. 2015.
  • Mykhaylov, B. V., et al. "Application of animal-assisted therapy in children with autism spectrum disorders." Психіатрія, неврологія та медична психологія3.1 (5) (2016).
  • Maber-Aleksandrowicz, Sarah, Cerian Avent, and Angela Hassiotis. "A Systematic Review of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Psychosocial Outcomes in People with Intellectual Disability." Research in developmental disabilities 49 (2016): 322-338.
  • Anderson, Sophie, and Kerstin Meints. "Brief report: The effects of equine-assisted activities on the social functioning in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder." Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders46.10 (2016): 3344-3352.
  • Hsieh, Yueh-Ling, et al. "Effects of hippotherapy on body functions, activities and participation in children with cerebral palsy based on ICF-CY assessments." Disability and Rehabilitation (2016): 1-11.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Equine Assisted Therapy as Strategy in Speech Language Pathology

Hello everyone!
As promised, here are the slides I presented at the 29th World Congress Of The IALP - Turin - Italy.
It was held in 2013 and was a great experience!
Please, if you want to cite, use this reference: Melo Pestana, P. & Vaz Freitas, S., 2013. Equine Assisted Therapy as Strategy in Speech Language Pathology. In Turin: 29th World Congress Of The IALP.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Interview with Ruth Dismuke-Blakely, MS/CCC-SLP, HPCS

A few days ago I challenged my dear Ruth Dismuke-Blakely to be interviewed. She answered to my questions and here they are!

Ruth Dismuke-Blakely, MS/CCC-SLP, HPCS is an internationally known Speech Language Pathologist and the first person formally known working with horses and SLP together. She is also the author of the very first researches that boosted these fields. Ruth owns Skyline Therapy since 1980 - a therapeutic business which runs Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy with the help of the horse.
I was there and I tell you it is a very busy clinic - its major therapy room is nothing but a big arena where everything happens!

Pedro - You are Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) since 1980. Why did you choose this profession?
Ruth - I received my Masters of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in December, 1980.  At the age of 15 years, I volunteered at a state residential school for the developmentally disabled and had some very wonderful experiences there that made me know I wanted to become a speech-language pathologist.  I never wavered from that goal.

You were the first SLP using horses as a therapy strategy. How did it began?
I grew up in a professional horse family.  We bred, raised and trained American Quarter Horses.  In addition, I had given riding instruction to children and young adults beginning when I was 16 years old.  I really believed in what horses can do for people.  When I was in graduate school at the University of New Mexico I put together a treatment plan for a little boy with hearing impairment that centered on using equine movement and the naturalistic context of the riding setting to address his speech and language deficits.  My clinical supervisor from the university would meet me with the family and the little boy at our local fairgrounds.  I would bring two of our lesson horses and my mother to help me as horse support.  I knew nothing of therapeutic riding or hippotherapy but we fashioned a very productive treatment plan for this little boy.  Based on that work, I was awarded two research grants – one for $8000 US for a pilot study and one for $80,000 US for a more comprehensive follow up study.  The results of both significantly supported the use of the horse as a treatment tool in speech and language therapy.
Following that research our local school district approached me to “contract” my services using the horse in treatment.  We incorporated what is now Skyline Therapy Services on September 21, 1982 and immediately had 52 clients to see with a range of diagnoses from the Albuquerque Public Schools Special Education program.  Soon after, our local rehabilitation hospital began referring adults with traumatic brain injuries.  Very quickly we were offering speech-language therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy to children and adults with a range of special needs.

What kind of patients are most referred to Skyline Therapy?
Over the past 33 years we have treated children and adults with all manner of diagnosis including traumatic brain injury, stroke, neuromuscular deficits like cerebral palsy, apraxia, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing deficits, a broad range of genetic disorders like Down syndrome and Rhett syndrome, specific language impairment, phonological processing deficits, attention deficit disorder, auditory processing disorder, and some spinal cord injury.  We have also seen individuals with hearing impairment and visual impairment.

Regarding Speech Therapy goals, what are the main benefits the horse brings?
First and foremost, equine movement can facilitate all of the neurophysiology that support speech production and language use.  In order for an individual to “talk” efficiently, they must have good core postural control, good sensory processing/modulation, good respiratory support for speech sound production, motor control and coordination/timing.  The multi-dimensional dynamic movement provided by a well-trained well managed therapy horse can be used to positively impact all of these systems.  The speech-language pathologist is then able to incorporate very standard speech/language therapy techniques with the movement of the horse to promote very strong gains in communication for the client.  The setting itself is rich in pragmatic loading so there are always ample opportunities for “talking” in naturalistic and meaningful environment.   We see excellent carryover into the client’s daily living as well.

After some years you still need to have an educative role about this field in the society and even with other health professionals. How do you do it?
I love to share my knowledge and experiences in using hippotherapy as a treatment strategy within my speech and language therapy services.  I have an outstanding team of therapists and horse professionals that work for me here at Skyline Therapy.  This makes it possible for me to travel and teach other health professionals about the value of equine movement as a treatment strategy in not only speech-language therapy but in occupational therapy and physical therapy as well.

During our career some patients are unforgettable. Can you highlight one special moment or patient from Skyline Therapy?
In 33 years of practicing, there have been so many wonderful “moments’.  So many patients have said their first words or taken their first steps here at Skyline.  One of my favorite stories involves a little boy who had very severe motor speech apraxia and was only able to produce a mid-vowel sound /uh/.  We began using the horse’s movement to impact his neurological system and within a five sessions he was able to produce more speech sounds.  At roughly the 7th session, we increased the amount of movement he was receiving dramatically.  It was a Thursday afternoon.  I was worried that we had possibly overwhelmed his system as he was pretty tired and grumpy afterwards.  On Saturday, his mother called me and was overcome with emotion.  This little boy had independently produced 10 intelligible words that day – literally began talking after that.  I have always believed that the horse’s movement “jump started” his neuromotor system and allowed him to overcome his motor speech apraxia to a large degree.

Hippotherapy is not a “miracle cure” but for many individuals with special needs, it has shown itself to be a powerful addition to their therapy plans – generating some very profound improvements to speech and language use.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Research from 2014

The last post was most successful of this blog. Therefore, I'll try to do it continuously. I also provide, whenever possible, the link to download the article.
Taking into account the criteria listed in last post, I will update my database until the end of 2014.

Disclaimer:  the links I provide are not mine, the articles are hosted and free available on other websites/servers. As the author of this blog, I am not responsible for the content of the articles neither the way they are shared.

Cohort based studies:

Jordhøy, Maia Camilla. "Horse Assisted Therapy and Self-esteem-The impact of Horse Assisted Therapy on self-esteem: A study involving youth in treatment for substance use disorder." (2014). Download

Lanning, Beth A., et al. "Effects of Equine Assisted Activities on Autism Spectrum Disorder." Journal of autism and developmental disorders 44.8 (2014): 1897-1907. Download

Dabelko-Schoeny, Holly, et al. "Equine-assisted intervention for people with dementia." Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals 27.1 (2014): 141-155.

Literature review:

Dawson, Bradford Tyler. "An Exploratory Mixed Methodology Study Into the Theoretical Foundation of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy." (2014). Download - the author also collects data from some professionals.

Case studies:
Valle, Lila Maria Ornelas, Aparecida Yumi Nishimori, and Kátia Nemr. "Speech therapy in hippotherapy." Revista CEFAC 16.2 (2014): 511-523. Download

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Research from 2013

This is something I usually do - I do a search in my usual databases and I collect all the scientific articles that addresses the bond between speech therapy and hippotherapy. While doing this, I really don't care what words the authors use or if they use the word hippotherapy the way I do - what is important is how they do it and how they achieve the outcomes with the people. The articles don't need to address specifically or directly the speech therapy, rather they need to address the way they join both fields and whether they report outcomes in communication related areas. The studies, which address just the balance or physical improvements, were rejected.

Disclaimer: the links I provide are not mine, the articles are hosted and free available on other websites/servers. As the author of this blog, I am not responsible for the content of the articles neither the way they are shared.

Here is a list that is supposed to be up to date.

Cohort based studies:

Lanning, Beth A., et al. "Effects of Equine Assisted Activities on Autism Spectrum Disorder." Journal of autism and developmental disorders (2014): 1-11. Download

Valle, Lila Maria Ornelas, Aparecida Yumi Nishimori, and Kátia Nemr. "Speech therapy in hippotherapy." Revista CEFAC 16.2 (2014): 511-523. - Download

Ajzenman, Heather F., John W. Standeven, and Tim L. Shurtleff. "Effect of Hippotherapy on Motor Control, Adaptive Behaviors, and Participation in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study." American Journal of Occupational Therapy 67.6 (2013): 653-663. - Donwload - Supported by Human & Horses Research Foundation

Boyer, Valerie E. "Using Animal-Assisted Therapy to Facilitate Social Communication: A Pilot Study." Revue canadienne d’orthophonie et d’audiologie| Vol 38.1 (2014). - Download

Literature review:

Long, Sarah. "Hippotherapy as a Tool for Improving Motor Skills, Postural Stability, and Self Confidence in Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis." Sound Neuroscience: An Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal 1.2 (2013): 3. - Download

Jacobs, Connie I. "Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Child-Animal Bond: Children's Well-being and Behavior." (2013). - Donwload

Carriker, Morgan N. "Perceived Satisfaction of Equine-Assisted Therapy: A Qualitative Study of Family Narratives." (2013). - Donwload

Case studies:

Maestas sDPT, Rachel Y. "Does Hippotherapy Improve Gross Motor Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy?." Orthopaedics Research Journal (2013): 41. - Download (YES, it was done based on an Skyline Therapy kid!!!)

Tenorio, Reena. "Does equine movement positively impact functionalabilities in children with Autism Disorder?!." (2014). - Download (Once more, Skyline Therapy as stage of good research!)

General reports:

Lepore, Natasha, and Lawrence Yau. "Hippotherapy: A holistic approach to rehabilitation." WURJ: Health and Natural Sciences 4.1 (2013): 2. - Download

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Boogie Board - material review

My last buy was the Boogie Board in Dallas Airport. I found that the toys are very different from Europe - the shop was Geppeto's. The staff is just wonderful and very nice. Although it is a small airport shop (in terminal A), I lost myself inside. I bought a Folkmanis' frog puppet and a Boogie Board.
The last one is specially useful when working with horses and dirt. I think it is just amazing - here is a picture of it! All kids want one! It is really a success and it really substitutes my whiteboard.

There is plenty of them but I own the classical one. It is an electronic board and that allows us to write on its surface using a pen with a plastic hard tip. With just one click, the image just disappears.
It has a lot of advantages:
-With the arena dirt it doesn't stop its work, against the normal pens - with sand they get stuck or get bad anyway;
-We don't need to recharge the battery, because it has a watch battery that allows a lot of usage!
-It is not that expensive such as a normal tablet - so, if the horse or the child breaks you just loose $34;
-You don't waste that amount of paper.

However, with the dirty it can get scratched.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lecture - IALP 2013, Turin, Italy

Dear readers,

Finnaly online, so I can provide you the handouts of the lecture entitled "The Equine Assisted Therapy as Strategy in SLP Intervention". This was a free paper presented at World Congress of IALP 2013. Please, feel free to download it at: http://goo.gl/4KNBDA.

You can cite it as follows: Pestana, P. and Freitas, S. (2013). The Equine Assisted Therapy as Strategy in SLP Intervention. 29th World IALP Congress 2013, Turin, Italy.