Equine Assisted Therapy Essay

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Sociology: Equine Assisted Therapy Name Student Number Post Foundation English 2-Class 102 Teacher: Susan Kniseley-Foy December 26, 2012 HEADER FOR ALL PAGES HEADER FOR ALL PAGES Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that is becoming commonly known due to its increasing prevalence in today’s world (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). The parents of autistic offspring are faced with extreme child-rearing challenges. To begin with, there is no definitive answer as to why people develop autism and there is also no known cure. Depending on the severity of the autism, the affected person may express himself in an explosive way by throwing tantrums, or conversely, he may be wholly unresponsive, which can be devastating for parents searching for some affection or recognition from their child. Many parents would do anything to alleviate some of these hardships and indeed, there are a number of therapies to attempt. One such alternative method is called Equine Assisted Therapy and it proposes to help curb some of the inappropriate behavioral responses autistic people sometimes exhibit and help them to connect more with the “outside world” through teaching horseback riding skills. More studies need to be conducted, but the research available is hopeful about the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding, as it is also termed. Among the promising advantages of equine assisted therapy are enhancement of verbal and nonverbal communication, development of motor skills and improvement in social behavior and interactions. Verbal and nonverbal communication can be quite difficult and confusing for an autistic person and for those trying to understand him. There is a barrier between what the person needs or wants and finding the language to express it. They may not be able to produce correct word or sentence meaning, intonation or

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