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Equine Assisted ABA is taking your ABA program to the barn! We believe that there are very few goals that cannot be targetted at our farm. Just like with our home behavioural consultation, we begin with an assessment of the learner and then create individualized programs for the learner. We connect with the learner and their family to discuss the plan and make decisions together for the program. Then we get to fun! (our students should always be having fun in session!)
Equine assisted ABA is not therapeutic riding. Your child may complete some exercises while mounted, and riding may be used at the end of a session for some extra fun, but our focus is not teaching to ride. Equine Assisted ABA is a branch of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), while still being grounded in the foundations of ABA. The individuals goals are largely targetted on the ground with our equine friends along side us!
Yes! We would be happy to work with your established team to facilitate a seamless connection between the home and farm programs
We rely heavily on the science of behaviour analysis for our interventions and programs; however, there is research supporting equine assisted interventions. Animal assisted therapies have been used since the late 18th century (O’Haire, 2013). In the 18th century, animal assisted therapy began by bringing animals into in patient treatment facilities for mental health. AAT is foundationally based on the field of research called Human Animal Interaction (HAI). Kruger and Surpel (2010, as cited by O’Haire, 2012) note that, in HAI theory, humans seek out connection with animals due to the inherent lack of judgement animals offer in their connections with humans (as cited in O’Haire, 2012). There is an indication that autistic individuals may benefit from this type of connection and Johnson (2003, as cited in O’Haire, 2012) found preliminary evidence that social aversion may be ameliorated in interactions with animals.
The scientific literature for AAI with autistic individuals is currently limited, and researchers are actively studying the clinical significance of AAI in this field. At this point, there have been no studies on Animal Assisted ABA. We hope to one day change that.
Through the years, Tina has seen many learners struggle with friendships. Often, peers have trouble seeing past students' hard moments to see the incredible human inside. One exceptional child was in tears one day because he did not have any friends and did not know why. He sometimes acted impulsively with his body or words and was filled with remorse immediately after. This child is Tina's son. After that day, Tina sang True Colours (redone for the trolls movie) for him because she loves him for his true colours, and everyone else would too if they looked hard enough. We do not want to change anything about our learners, and we want to help their true colours shine.