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Information on Autism

Autism is a medical condition which can be characterized as a developmental disorder. It is known for affect the areas of the brain which are in charge of social interaction and communication. Classic autism symptoms develop from 18 to 24 months but if the symptoms occur only after 2 to 4 years of a child’s life, the condition is then referred to as childhood developmental disorder. There is also a milder form of autism which is called Asperger’s syndrome. It is characterized by a lot less developmental challenges as repetitious behavior gets much subtler and communication skills get much better.

Autism can be characterized by certain types of symptoms and those usually include difficulty with basic skills such as bathing, brushing teeth, eating or dressing, difficulty making and maintaining eye contact, difficulty with group activities and social skills, repetitious behavior such as repeating words, flapping hands, arranging objects or obsessively rocking, difficulty with concentration and attention span and difficulty with both non-verbal and verbal communication. The causes of autism are still completely unknown, but it is thought that it occurs due to various abnormalities in the brain’s shape and structure.

Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding

Hippo is the Greek word for horse and hippotherapy is a certain type of physical therapy which is commonly used in the comprehensive therapeutic package. This is a specific type of program which is used for persons from all age groups who suffer from various different types of developmental or physical disabilities. Therapeutic riding may also provide numerous benefits but it is generally considered much more as a recreational type of thing. Both of these treatment methods utilize the multidimensional rhythmic movement of a horse which resembles the gait of human’s natural way of walking.

Hippotherapy, which derives from the Greek word “hippo” for horse, is a physical therapy that is provided under a physician’s supervision. It is usually used as part of a comprehensive therapeutic package. This type of program has benefits for children, youth, and adults that have physical and/or developmental disabilities. Therapeutic Riding has many of the same benefits, but it is more of a recreational riding program for the disabled and does not usually involve a physician’s supervision. Patients can ride the horse in various positions, and autistic children can also be treated with this type of therapy.

Hippotherapy is a highly beneficial type of therapy because it is very efficient in improving numerous aspects such as improvement of sensory integration, improvement of fine motor coordination, improvement of patience, improvement of socialization, improvement of concentration, improvement of communication, increased sense of self-confidence, increased sense of self-control, increased sense of body-awareness, increased hand-eye coordination, increased muscle strength, increased balance and relaxation of tight muscles.

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