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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 776; doi:10.3390/ijerph14070776

The Impact of a Horse Riding Intervention on the Social Functioning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anthony Mawson
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activites for Health and Wellbeing)
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Abstract

This paper reports a case-control study of a horse riding intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A sample of 26 children, aged 6 to 9 years, were assigned to either the intervention (n = 12) or control group conditions (n = 14). Pre- and post-tests were carried out using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS2) and the Aberrant Behaviour Checklist-Community Edition (ABC-C). An observational measure of compliance and behaviour during the horse riding sessions was completed for the intervention group. There was a significant reduction in the severity of ASD symptoms and hyperactivity from pre- to post-test for the intervention group only. These results indicate that the intervention improves some aspects of social functioning for children with ASD. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism spectrum disorder; ASD; animal-assisted intervention; therapeutic horse riding; social functioning; human-animal interaction; children autism spectrum disorder; ASD; animal-assisted intervention; therapeutic horse riding; social functioning; human-animal interaction; children
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Harris, A.; Williams, J.M. The Impact of a Horse Riding Intervention on the Social Functioning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 776.

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