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The effectiveness for hippotherapy for children with autism-spectrum disorders

By Taylor Aaron, Sharon Cubelo, Merrill Simpson, Julie M. Fagan

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There is little research regarding the type of equine assisted therapy (EAT) known as hippotherapy for children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our research involves surveying parents and therapists of children with ASD that are participating in a hippotherapy regimen. We are using the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) survey that is a vetted survey used to evaluate patients with Autism on their speech/language/communication capabilities, sociability, sensory/cognitive awareness, and health/physical/behavioral state. We asked parents and therapists to complete the ATEC survey twice, thinking retrospectively to the patient’s state before participating in hippotherapy sessions and to the present day. All patients were still presently participating in hippotherapy treatments. We are assessing progress based on parents and therapists answers pre and post-treatment and comparing the ATEC score. A decrease in ATEC score indicates efficacy of therapy method(s). We personally handed out surveys at a barn in Long Valley, NJ and e-mailed surveys to a therapist in Cranbury, NJ.


Katie Carroll

Date 2013
Pages 14
Publisher Rutgers University
Department Animal Science
Language English
University Rutgers University
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Animal roles
  3. Autism
  4. Health
  5. Hippotherapy
  6. Horseback riding
  7. Horseback riding therapy
  8. Horses
  9. Human health
  10. Mammals
  11. Therapeutic horsemanship