Thursday, February 14, 2013

Using Apps during Hippotherapy

I occasionally use my Iphone during hippotherapy to have fun and motivate my very young clients. They love touching pictures that make things happen-such as an animal that makes a sound. This involves nice finger isolation and motor control. I have to remind some of them to use the index finger and not the middle finger.

In the video you will see how the app motivates him to make sounds. I can also ask the children to find and press the animals I name so that they need to scan and follow directions. That would be a bit more challenging but I will work up to it with this 2 year old.

I have worked with 3-4 year old children doing this same activity while they kneel, stand on top of and are prone on their belly (extending arms like superman)  while the horse stands stationary.

Usually riding is so exciting children don't need much more to motivate engagement but there are a couple of clients who are particularly cooperative when they know they will get to use my phone app either during or at the end of my session. One almost 4 year old who has down syndrome ends her session walking up 3 steps to put her helmet away on a pole. Sometimes I ask her to remain balancing on the top step while pressing some animal pictures. This takes her mind off her fear of falling (while I hold her belt)  while doing something she loves.

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