Cecilia Llambias, Joyce Magill-Evans, Veronica Smith, Sharon Warren; Equine-Assisted Occupational Therapy: Increasing Engagement for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Am J Occup Ther 2016;70(6):7006220040. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.020701
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Engagement in meaningful activities is essential to development and is often reduced in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have limited engagement in activities or relationships. A multiple-baseline design was used with 7 children with ASD ages 4–8 yr to assess the effect of including a horse in occupational therapy intervention on task engagement. The children showed improvements in engagement. Including horses in occupational therapy sessions may be a valuable addition to conventional treatments to increase task engagement of children with ASD. Factors related to the environment, therapeutic strategies, and individual participation need to be considered in understanding why this intervention may be effective and developing a theoretical basis for implementation.
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