Hippotherapy and its effect on behavioral and executive disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder
Children with Autism have social, cognitive, and behavioral problems. Hippotherapy can play an effective role in the communication and educability of this group of children. Therefore, this study is about investigating the effect of Hippotherapy on behavioral disorders and executive function in children with an autism spectrum disorder. The present study was designed as a pre-test-post-test as a one-group intervention method. The treatment team performed this method on eight children aged 9-12 years with autism. A questionnaire of behavioral disorders in children with an autism spectrum (parent form) and a behavioral rating questionnaire of executive function was used as instrument in this study. Data analysis has been performed using SPSS statistical software version 20.
After the intervention, the mean score of executive function and its dimensions were significantly lower than before the intervention which shows better executive function after the intervention (P = 0.012). The results also showed that after the intervention, behavioral problems are significantly less than before the intervention, which shows fewer behavioral problems after the intervention (P = 0.012). The results show that hippotherapy decreases behavioral problems in children with an autism spectrum disorderTherefore, hippotherapy can be performed as an effective treatment along with conventional clinical treatments for children with an autism spectrum disorder.
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