We are pleased to offer animal assisted speech, language and feeding therapy at Speech Language Pathology in Motion. This is provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist with animals who are specially selected to perform this work.
Animals who help in our therapy sessions include horses, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, bunnies, goats, sheep, and chickens.
Animals can be used in our therapy sessions to facilitate improvements in motivation, participation, behavior, receptive and expressive language skills, pragmatics/social language, and functional communication skills.
Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) is an umbrella term, referring to therapy services using equines and the equine environment. This approach differs from speech therapy incorporating hippotherapy, as hippotherapy refers specifically to equine movement.
During equine assisted speech and language therapy, the patients are not on the horse, but rather therapy is provided around the animals, on the grounds, in the barn, in the classroom, or on site therapy spaces. The farm environment creates a wide variety of opportunities for improving speech and language abilities.
Animal assisted speech and language therapy is not a separate type of therapy or service. Because it is not a separate service, but rather a strategy used during a speech therapy session it is not appropriate to bill for it as a separate service. Regardless of the treatment strategies used, the therapy services we provide at Speech Language Pathology in Motion are speech therapy.
Prescriptions should be written for speech therapy regardless of the treatment strategies that will be used. The treatment strategies will be selected by the therapist and may be changed at any time in order to most effectively treat the patient.
Above: The horse, Owen, helping a client practice his /k/ sound. The client took each final /k/ picture and said the phrase "looK at..." to Owen before putting the pictures on his necK. He then had to breaK Carrots for Owen's snacK and put them in a bucKet. Owen loved his new accessories and his snack and turned his head to look at every picture before the client put them on. Activities such as this are highly motivating and reinforcing for our clients.
Above: A client completes a following direction activity while feeding carrots to a bunny. Our animals help with joint attention skills and focus.
Above: Two miniature horses wait to greet a client. In addition to miniature horses, our Islandia location houses chickens, sheep, goats, donkeys, bunnies, cats and a dog. Clients are able to spend time interacting with the animals and completing various speech and language tasks in this motivating and enriching environment.
Above: A child making social connections with one of our therapy horses. Greetings and bids of farewell are important parts of our therapy sessions.
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