Strengthening motor skills is essential to the development of any child. These movements and capabilities are responsible for a child’s ability to get around in this world and take care of themselves. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, the abilities of one child can be vastly different from those of another. Learning more about how autism affects motor skills in a child will help you understand the benefits of hippotherapy for patients with autism.
The cognitive abilities of individuals on the autism spectrum will vary from child to child. While some children may show sensitivity to certain sounds, colors, or situations, others may not. Individuals who are more sensitive to certain stimuli may have trouble developing various motor skills.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills refer to the ability to use one’s hands and fingers in a controlled manner to carry out a task. This entails using small manipulative objects, holding items, and effectively using a writing or eating utensil. In some cases, individuals with autism may need a bit more practice to develop this skill, but it will come eventually.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills refer to the larger movements we make and the way we manage our appendages. Individuals with autism may face obstacles when running, climbing, or balancing. Developing these skills takes practice, strength building, and, in some cases, occupational and physical therapy.
Chariot Innovations has spent a significant amount of time studying and understanding the benefits of equine therapy in building strength, control, and balance. We have created hippotherapy simulator equipment to help individuals develop these skills simultaneously. The MiraColt allows slight to serious exercise depending on the needs of the patient.
When determining how autism affects motor skills, you must remember that it will look different for everyone. Some cases may appear similar, but each person will have individual experiences and hurdles to overcome. Patience is key in developing all types of skills, including motor skills.