Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an intricate and complex disorder that continues to grow in its prevalence year after year. The disorder is based on decreased social communication with prevalent stereotypical behaviors and problems in sensory processing. Due to the disorder diagnosis based on a spectrum, each child is different in their severity, and thus requires individualized forms of therapies and treatments. The cause of ASD is unknown, which makes the treatment difficult to standardize. Desperate to find a regimen that benefits their child’s ability to function more successfully, more and more parents are utilizing complementary alternative medicine (CAM). The problem with CAM is lack of evidence that supports using CAM practice. One example of CAM is hippotherapy, which is a type of intervention used by physical, occupational and speech therapists which uses the movements of a horse to address a patient’s impairments physically, emotionally and neurologically. Hippotherapy has been used since the 1960s for a number of disorders. This systematic literature review examines the effects of hippotherapy for children with ASD in regards to increasing social communication and decreasing stereotypical behaviors. The conclusion of the review resulted in conflicting evidence regarding the efficacy of hippotherapy for children with ASD. This inconclusive lack of evidence is generally due to the lack of standardized measurement scales or treatment plans used during each session and small sample sizes.
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Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Dissertations, Academic -- Nursing; Nursing -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Hicks, Jamie, "The Effects of Complementary Hippotherapy for Children with Austism Spectrum Disorder" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1713.