Equine-Assisted Therapy’s Affect on Social Skills and Attention among School Age Children Joanne Gamache University of Puget Sound December 6, 2004 Introduction



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Summary of the Evidence:

  • Despite the increasing popularity of equine-assisted therapy, there is a scarcity of scientific evidence supporting the claims of benefits, reasons for benefits, and why certain equine-assisted activities are beneficial.

  • Current research shows many trends and some evidence supporting improvements in social skills and attention span as well as in self-esteem, self-confidence, trust, concentration, listening skills, and language.

  • Improvements in communication, relaxation, self-esteem, self-confidence, trust, listening skills and concentration support the idea that social skills and attention span are increased with equine-assisted therapy.

  • Increased attending abilities in children with ADD were an outcome of equine-assisted therapy.

  • Current research shows improvements in physical abilities such as posture, range of motion, trunk strength, coordination and visual perception.

    • Improvements in trunk strength and posture may be associated to improved attention span in the classroom for children with disabilities.





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