Monday, October 18, 2010

Hippotherapy for Children with Down Syndrome

Sean's teacher emailed me a few photos from the last session he had at the Reins of Hope hippotherapy center.

I'm just so glad to see how much he is continuing to enjoy his sessions there! I grew up riding horses every chance I could during my summer trips to visit my grandmother in the Colorado Rockies. Being able to share a passion for horsebacking riding with Sean is such a dream. In a few years, we will both be able to go on trail rides together through the mountains.

For now, his time on a horse is not a means for sight-seeing, but rather an opportunity to strengthen his core trunk muscles, coordinate his motor planning skills, and teaches him concepts like left, right, stop, go, front, back. It's also a great vocabulary-building tool.

Best of all, it's therapy that makes him happy!

While looking at the new photos, it made me want to dig up old photos from when he first went as a toddler. He was a petite boy, just 30 months old when he began. He went from only walking with a walker to independently walking within a few months of hippotherapy.

A cute video of an early session.

Some photos of Sean after he started walking. He'd get so excited when we pulled in to the stables. He even mastered opening the gates.

If you can get your child into hippothereapy, I'd highly recommend it! If you don't have a child that needs therapy, but have time to volunteer, you can look at The American Hippotherapy Association to find a therapy center near you. Most hippotherapy services are run on a volunteer program and fees for riders can be covered through medical card insurance, the public school system, or on an income sliding scale.


Brandie said...

I never realized Sean had Hippotherapy. I've looked into it here, but Goldie was always too young. That's wonderful that he enjoys riding horses! I was always a little afraid of them because of their size.

Tiffany said...

I second the recommendation!!! Hippotherapy works MIRACLES!!!!