A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I am just so excited I think I am going to burst. This is going to be a great year for Hailey! Lots of alternative therapy happening for her. Things that we believe she will benefit from. I’ve spoken about Conductive Education in great lengths, through conductors, other moms, and shown videos. I think you all understand it better now. In addition to attending Conductive Education in May, Hailey will also be starting hippotherapy when we get back from Michigan. The first time I read about hippotherapy was a couple of years ago while vacationing in Florida. I read about a stable in Ocala that offered hippotherapy to children with Cerebral Palsy, the article explained how being on top of a horse could help build core strength. When we got home from vacation we immediately started looking into the centers in our state, Hailey was too young then, but we believe she is ready now. We recently learned that there is a center about 45 minutes away from us!!!!! Sunday we went to visit the center to get more get more familiar with hippotherapy and also to see how Hailey would react. I think the photos say it all...Hailey loved it. We placed her on top of a pony and she wasn’t scared at all (she’s a little daredevil anyway). In fact when I put her on the ground, she tried to crawl right under the fence into the horses stable. I think she is ready for sure.
This is what we learned about hippotherapy:
Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational and speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. The word “hippotherapy” literally means “treatment with the help of the horse” from the Greek word “hippos” meaning horse. Specially trained physical and occupational therapists use this treatment for individuals with movement dysfunction as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.
In a controlled hippotherapy environment, the horse influences the rider rather than the rider controlling the horse. The rider is positioned on the horse and actively responds to his movement. The therapist directs the movement of the horse, analyzes the rider’s responses, and adjusts the treatment and horse’s movement accordingly. Specific riding skills are not taught (as in other therapeutic horseback riding programs), but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This foundation can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities.
The unique nature of hippotherapy allows the rider to engage in activities on the horse that are enjoyable and challenging.
Why the horse?
A horse's walk and gait provides movement (or “sensory input”) that is variable, rhythmic, and repetitive. The resulting responses from the rider are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. The therapist can observe and grade the degree of sensory input to the rider, and then utilize this movement in combination with other treatment strategies to achieve desired results. Riders respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable experience in a natural setting.
What are the benefits of hippotherapy?
Occupational and Physical Therapists use engaging horseback activities to treat children as young as 2 years of age and throughout their teenage years. This increasingly popular method helps clients meet their individual clinical goals including: improved gait, mobility, strength, and balance; sensory processing and modulation skills; & endurance and independence. Therapists also target communication and behavioral skills through these therapies.
Functional limitations that may be improved with hippotherapy:
• Gross motor skills such as sitting, standing, walking
• Speech and language abilities
• Behavioral and cognitive abilities
Who performs hippotherapy?
Therapists who perform hippotherapy are actually physical, occupational or speech therapists. Hippotherapy is the treatment strategy used by these skilled practitioners to achieve functional outcomes.
Does the therapist work alone with the rider?
Therapists performing hippotherapy normally work with a horse handler. This individual is charge of the handling of the horse during the treatment session. The handler has received extra training in handling horses specifically for hippotherapy.