The effect of therapeutic horseback riding on social functioning in children with autism

Margaret M. Bass, Catherine A. Duchowny, Maria M. Llabre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

160 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on social functioning in children with autism. We hypothesized that participants in the experimental condition (n = 19), compared to those on the wait-list control (n = 15), would demonstrate significant improvement in social functioning following a 12-weeks horseback riding intervention. Autistic children exposed to therapeutic horseback riding exhibited greater sensory seeking, sensory sensitivity, social motivation, and less inattention, distractibility, and sedentary behaviors. The results provide evidence that therapeutic horseback riding may be a viable therapeutic option in treating children with autism spectrum disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1267
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Children
  • Equine assisted activities
  • Social functioning
  • Therapeutic horseback riding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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