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The impact of an equine facilitated learning program on youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By P. Erdman, D. Miller, S. Jacobson

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of an equine facilitated learning program on youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who were paired with typically developing peers. Even though there has been an increasing interest in the field of animal assisted interventions and the benefits for youth with ASD, to date there is no research on using equine facilitated, peer assisted learning programs, emphasizing ground work rather than riding, with youth with ASD. An exploratory, mixed methods case study design was used with 3 youth with ASD and 3 youth without disabilities. An equine program based on a natural horsemanship framework that emphasized groundwork was implemented over 10 weeks of after-school sessions. Data from behavioral observations, parent interviews, and the Social Responsiveness Scale indicate that the three youth with ASD improved their social awareness and social cognition, with two of the youth also improving their social motivation. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Date 2015
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 21-36
URL https://www.apa-hai.org/human-animal-interaction/haib/download-info/autism-spectrum-disorder/
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animals
  2. APEC countries
  3. Autism
  4. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  5. Countries
  6. Developed countries
  7. Equine-facilitated psychotherapy
  8. Horses
  9. Human-animal interactions
  10. Humans
  11. Learning
  12. Mammals
  13. Men
  14. North America
  15. OECD countries
  16. open access
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Primates
  19. Relationships
  20. therapy
  21. ungulates
  22. United States of America
  23. vertebrates
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed