Horses to help children with Dyspraxia

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AN LIT student is researching the benefits of horses to children with dyspraxia.

Caren Hession
Caren Hession

(28), who is conducting her second experiment in the field of equine therapy, is seeking participants aged between six and 15 years.

Equine therapy involves the use of the horses for physical, mental, emotional, behavioural or cognitive development. Dyspraxia is a difficulty with thinking out, planning and carrying out sensory and motor tasks.

As part of her PhD research, Ms Hession is leading a scientific study of 120 children with dyspraxia in the Limerick, Galway, and Dublin. The research study, which is due to commence in September, is open and free to all participants with a primary diagnosis of dyspraxia.

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Her project, which is largest research study of its kind in the Ireland, investigates the potential of an audio-visual approach to equine therapy to show that horses can improve cognition and mood arousal and ambulation for children.

She said: “Having witnessed first hand the benefits horses can have, I transferred onto a PhD programme at the LIT where I aim to prove in my research the cognitive, emotional, behavioural and physical benefits of horses for children with dyspraxia”.

Places are still available for participants and volunteer helpers. For more information see http://equinestudy2013.weebly.com/