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Animal assisted adapted physical activity for children with Cerebral Palsy

By Nicole Johnson, Amanda Tepfer, Wendy Baltzer, Megan MacDonald

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Cerebral Palsy is a muscle movement disorder caused by an insult to the immature developing brain before birth. Children with Cerebral Palsy generally have impaired movement, exaggerated joints, floppiness or rigidity of limbs and torso, abnormal posture, involuntary movement, and unsteady walking. This study was designed to test whether working with dogs on physical activity improved the motor functions of children with varying levels of Cerebral Palsy. 
 The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine whether or not an 8 week intervention would improve object control motor skill.
 The participants in this study were evaluated with their dogs to measure their baseline motor function. Then the participants were given an intervention (weekly exercises with their dogs, as well as at home exercises with a sheet to record what they accomplished). After the eight week intervention, participants were given the same motor function test as the first week to test motor skill improvements. I am specifically looking at the underhand and overhand throwing exercises during both the at home and in lab interventions, in hopes to find a positive correlation between the amount of times a ball was thrown during the intervention and improved object control motor function.


Katie Carroll

Date 30 May 2014
Publisher Oregon State University
Size/Length 1 page
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Cerebral palsy
  4. Children
  5. Children with disabilties
  6. Disabilities
  7. Dogs
  8. Mammals
  9. physical activity
  10. therapy animals