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Equine-assisted activities and therapies are increasing in popularity for treatment of ASD symptoms. This research evaluated effects of a 5-week programme of therapeutic riding on social functioning of children/adolescents (N = 15) with ASD. The effectiveness of the programme was evaluated using the autism spectrum quotient, the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scale and the empathising and systemising quotient. Results established that the TR intervention increased empathising and reduced maladaptive behaviours. The findings also indicated that specific adaptive behaviours like socialization and communication were not affected by the intervention. Thus, a complex picture of the effects of this intervention emerges: while TR does not change all of the child’s behaviour, it can improve specific aspects of social functioning and also reduce maladaptive ASD traits.
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- Brief Report: The Effects of Equine-Assisted Activities on the Social Functioning in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Springer US