The effect of equine assisted therapy on the social functioning of children with autism
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study examined the effects on equine assisted therapy on the social functioning of children with autism. It was hypothesised that a positive change will occur over time and between groups. 15 children attended half-hour sessions weekly for six weeks and were split into riding, handling or mixed group. The Short Sensory Profile and Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist questionnaires were completed pre and post intervention. A qualitative analysis was discussed from an observational comment. Significant improvements were found in SSP overall score but non-significant in ATEC scores. Qualitative analysis found improvements in areas of undesirable/positive behaviours, tactile over-sensitivity, speech, anxiety and confidence. No significant difference was found between groups. EAT may be a viable intervention for children with autism.