Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 6 - Page 12

fessional, and the person seeking such an animal must have a verifiable disability. Therapists believe that horses are able to reflect our own emotions, so patients are encouraged to make the connection between their own life situations and the lessons they learn from the horses. The last type of dog is really not a therapy dog but a “SERVICE ANIMAL.” While these trained animals can offer emotional supMany people port to their ownWhen are believe that the ers just like their use of horses is complex and therapy foureven more benefilegged friends laced with anxiety for a person, cial than that of can, service aniany other therapy mals must be able and animal. The to perform some activities associof the functions can be a ated with horses and tasks that the are very hands much-needed, peaceful, individual with on, and particia disability canpants don’t feel not perform for as though they themselves. Serare involved in a vice dogs are not therapy session. considered pets Horses gives you immediate feedback about but, instead, working animals. Unlike therapy your own actions and body language through or emotional support animals, service animals mirroring. If you are tense and nervous, the are covered under the Americans with Disability horse will mirror this feeling. You learn to act Act and are, therefore, allowed access to buildand react appropriately. ings (including restaurants, libraries, supermarkets and churches), transportation systems and DOLPHINS other public areas and services. Just being in the water has been known to have a therapeutic effect on some people; add the unique experience of swimming with dolHORSES phins and, well, you can see why this form of The use of horses in therapy has been around animal therapy is so popular. Some researchers for ages. The Greeks documented the horse’s have suggested that the sounds dolphins emit therapeutic value in 600BC, and the term often through their whistles and clicks can have the referred to this type of therapy, “hippotherapy,” same therapeutic effective that music therapy even derived from the Greek word hippos, can have. While there is not a lot of scientific meaning hors K