The symptoms for those with autism vary greatly. However, sensory overload is a common experience for individuals with autism. In this article, we’ll discuss how hippotherapy helps those with autism and sensory issues. With therapy, many people with autism learn to lessen the frustration of sensory processing and no longer allow it to control them.
What Are Sensory Issues?
When a child with autism doesn’t respond well to sensory information, it’s called sensory processing disorder or sensory overload. We don’t yet understand why this happens, but these are common symptoms:
- Putting objects in the mouth often and as a form of security
- Displaying signs of hyperactivity
- A resistance to hugs and other forms of touch
Other signs may be an aversion to certain foods or articles of clothing.
Hippotherapy Helps Those Experiencing Sensory Overload
There is no cure for sensory overload. However, therapies have been shown to help. Hippotherapy is the use of horseback riding as a form of rehabilitation therapy. Horseback riding has been shown to improve gait, reduce stress and anxiety, help with speech disorders, and reduce sensory issues.
Equine therapy can help children with autism a great deal. Thanks to the MiraColt, those with autism and sensory issues benefit from hippotherapy without the use of a horse. The MiraColt replicates the horse’s gait and can be conveniently used at home or in the therapist’s office.
How Hippotherapy Helps
Hippotherapy does more than replicate horseback riding. For those with autism, hippotherapy does the following:
- Engages sensory and cognitive systems
- Improves thoughts
- Improves relational and task processing
- Improves functional outcomes
These improvements all work together to reduce sensory overload.
Sensory overload is frustrating for those with autism and for the ones who care for them, but thankfully, it’s manageable with the right therapy.
At Chariot Innovations, we believe in hippotherapy for autism. Our MiraColt design helps improve the outcome of sensory overload and other symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Contact Chariot Innovations for more information about the MiraColt and autism.