Date of Award
Gail Bass/Devon Olson Lambert
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has risen nearly 600 percent in the past two decades, with estimates suggesting that 1 in 68 children worldwide have a clinical diagnosis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014). Children with ASD experience resultant challenges in occupational functioning due to impairments in communication, social interaction, and sensory processing. Sensory modulation issues can cause negative impacts on physical and social functioning. Modulation allows filtering of irrelevant stimuli and maintenance of an optimal level of arousal that facilitates attention to environmental demands with longer engagement in tasks (Llambias, Magill-Evans, Smith, & Warren, 2016). Recent literature suggests that occupational therapy has the potential to positively impact children with sensory modulation issues caused by autism spectrum disorder through the use of hippotherapy.
May, Jedekiah; Vitosh, Delanie; and VonKrosigk, Karleen, "Critically Appraised Topic: Hippotherapy Intervention for School Age Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders" (2020). Critically Appraised Topics. 15.