Equine Assisted Occupational Therapy (EAOT) is the use of horses and their handling/care to promote the development of the areas of need associated with ASD.
EAOT is an evidence- based practice (Cecilia Llambias et al 2016) Autistic individuals may have deficits in social interactions as well as restricted interests with stereotyped and repetitive patterns of behaviour which can impact their ability to engage in activities beneficial for development. Intentional purposeful activities are encouraged in EAOT by providing opportunities for new activities including saddling, grooming, feeding, mucking out, interacting with the horse, on saddle riding and riding. Individual targets are set regarding working towards active participation at the level and according to the needs of the individual. The duration and quality of engagement, purposeful interactions and functioning are monitored and used to show how progress is made. The results can include significant improvements in confidence and self-esteem as a result in improved participation.
Our EAOT is carried out in stables at East Liverpool RDA.