ONE Central Florida Short: Horseback Therapy

ONE Central Florida Short: Horseback Therapy


>>MATTHEW DUNLOP IS AN ACTIVE SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BATTLING A HOST OF DISABILITIES.>>MATTHEW WAS A FULL TERM BABY, VERY HEALTHY AND WHAT WE DIDN’T KNOW UNTIL HE STARTED HAVING SEIZURES AT THREE MONTHS IS THAT HE HAS A GENETIC MUTATION WHICH CAUSES SEIZURES SOME SENSORY ISSUES AND ALSO SOME LOW MUSCLE TONE AND AUTISTIC BEHAVIORS. WE REALIZED WHEN HE WAS ABOUT EIGHTEEN MONTHS AND HE WASN’T WALKING FREELY THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING MORE GOING ON BESIDES JUST THE SEIZURES AND SO WE STARTED HIM ON PHYSICAL THERAPY AND THEY GOT HIM WALKING BUT HE WAS VERY DISJOINTED. KIND OF FRANKENSTEINISH WHEN HE WALKED AND I KNOW FOR TODDLERS THAT IS MORE TYPICAL BUT HE DIDN’T SEEM TO OUTGROW IT.>>THE DUNLOP’S NEUROLOGIST SUGGESTED THEY TRY A DIFFERENT TYPE OF THERAPY. ONE THAT USES HORSEBACK RIDING.>>WE DECIDED TO TRY IT OUT. WE FIGURED IT’S NOT GONNA HURT AND HE SEEMED TO LIKE HORSES.>>THE TREATMENT IS A CALLED “HIPPOTHERAPY” “HIPPO” IS GREEK FOR “HORSE.” SANDRA WAINMAN IS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST AND A CERTIFIED HIPPOTHERAPIST.>>HIPPO-THERAPY IS USING THE HORSE IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS THAT I HAVE FOR THE PERSON THAT AS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST I’M WORKING WITH. I HAVE GOALS FOR THEM THAT INVOLVE THEIR BODY BECOMING MORE FUNCTIONAL AND SO I USE THE HORSE BECAUSE THE HORSES BODY AND OUR BODY ARE LITERALLY MIRRORS OF ONE ANOTHER. THAT WHEN THE HORSE IS MOVING FROM SIDE TO SIDE, THEN THE PERSON RIDING, THEIR BODY IS MOVING FROM SIDE TO SIDE AND BECOMING AWARE OF THEIR HAVING BOTH SIDES OF THEIR BODY.>>GOOD JOB MATTHEW. YOU LOOK GREAT.>>WHEN MATTHEW FIRST STARTED IT WAS HARD FOR HIM TO EVEN STAY ON THAT HORSE AND BE COMFORTABLE. AND SO WE STARTED AT A LEVEL THAT THE RHYTHM OF THE HORSE WAS VERY PREDICTABLE, VERY RHYTHMIC JUST TO CALM HIM. AND AS HE WAS ABLE TO TAKE MORE WE WOULD INCREASE LIKE THE PACE OF THE HORSE; GIVE HIM MORE INTENSITY.>>AWESOME!>>AFTER 6 MONTHS OF WEEKLY SESSIONS, MONICA HAS NOTICED BIG IMPROVEMENTS IN MATTHEW.>>SINCE HIPPO-THERAPY, HE’S WALKING BETTER. HE’S RUNNING. HE STARTED JUMPING. HE’S CLIMBING BETTER. HIS FINE MOTOR SKILLS ARE MUCH IMPROVED WHETHER IT’S BUILDING THE BLOCKS OR DRINKING FROM A CUP. I BELIEVE THAT IT’S HELPED HIM WITH THE SPEECH AS WELL.>>WHAT I KNOW.>>GOOD JOB. LISTEN TO THAT VOLUME IS BETTER.>>WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO HAVE CEREBRAL PALSY WHO HAVE POSTURES THAT ARE SOMETIMES TOO TIGHT. WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO HAVE DOWN SYNDROME WHO VERY OFTEN THEIR BODY IS ACTUALLY TOO FLOPPY OR TOO LOOSE. WE HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE ON AN AUTISTIC SPECTRUM OR WHO HAVE AUTISM ITSELF.>>ELLA IS A 4 YEAR OLD WITH DOWNS SYNDROME. SHE’S BEEN UNDERGOING HIPPOTHERAPY FOR ALMOST NINE MONTHS ON A HORSE NAMED BELLA.>>WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF CHANGES, BUT THE MOST THAT WE’VE SEEN IS HER POSTURE. WHEN SHE FIRST STARTED HIPPOTHERAPY AND SITTING ON THE HORSE SHE USED TO BE CURVED. AND NOW AS YOU SEE SHE’S STRAIGHT. SHE’S ABLE TO CLIMB, SHE’S MORE STABLE IN WALKING UP STAIRS AND JUST HER GAIT HAS IMPROVED IMMENSELY. IT’S THE ONLY THERAPY ELLA LOOKS FORWARD TO AS SOON AS WE PULL INTO THE DRIVE SHE HAS A BIG SMILE ON HER FACE, AS YOU SEE IT WHEN SHE’S ON BELLA SHE HAS A SMILE AND WHEN SHE GETS OFF. I MEAN THE SMILE SAYS EVERYTHING WITH HER.>>WAINMAN SAYS IT’S NOT JUST THE PHYSICAL PARTS OF THE HORSE THAT MAKES IT EFFECTIVE IT’S ALSO THE EMOTIONAL CONNECTION.>>I THINK THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE HORSE AND THE PERSON RIDING IS ALSO INCREDIBLY POWERFUL. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT REALLY DRAWS THE PEOPLE TO COME IN TO PARTICIPATE.>>HE REALLY ENJOYS RIDING ON NOAH AND GETTING TO PET HIM AND AFTERWARDS SAYING THANK YOU NOAH AND LOOKING AT HIM AND I THINK THEY FORMED A GOOD CONNECTION. THEY DON’T HAVE TO TALK. THEY KIND OF HAVE A COMMUNICATION WITH EACH OTHER. I THINK MATTHEW DEFINITELY LOOKS FORWARD TO WEDNESDAY’S WHEN HE GETS TO RIDE AND I’M EXCITED TO SEE HOW HE’LL KEEP PROGRESSING FROM THIS EXPERIENCE.>>SAY WALK ON WOODY.>>IT BRINGS ME SO MUCH SATISFACTION TO SEE CHANGE. THE PARENTS CALL US OR SEND US GRADUATION PICTURES AND SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS PERSON IS GOOD IN MATH AND IT’S BECAUSE YOU STARTED THEM OFF WITH CERTAIN THINGS YOU DID. OR, YOU CHANGED MY CHILD’S LIFE. YOU CHANGED OUR FAMILY. IT’S JUST GREAT.>>SEE FULL EPISODES OF ONE CENTRAL FLORIDA THE FIRST THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH AT 8 P.M.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *