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Therapeutic Horseback Riding Growing in Popularity for Children with Special Needs

Our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys work hard to help those children whose condition was caused by mistakes made during their birth. This work serves two main purposes. On one hand, when medical professionals are held accountable for their actions, there is a greater likelihood that steps will be taken to ensure that their work is done as safely as possible. In all fields, including medicine, accountability breeds improvement. The second purpose of birth injury lawsuits is to provide fair redress to those hurt in the ordeal.

Unfortunately, many families do not receive compensation and resources to care for their loved one-even when it was caused by the mistakes of another. In these situations, the children suffering from injuries like cerebral palsy fail to have access to the different resources they need to grow and learn as much as possible. Many of these children never reach their potential, often failing to live as independently as they might down the road.

Our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys are encouraged by the progresses that have been made in recent years when it comes to treatments and therapies for those suffering from cognitive problems, such as cerebral palsy. Many novel approaches are helping youngsters with a range of disabilities. For example, the NWI Times reported on a therapeutic riding program that assists children with special needs. The program is known as “hippotherapy.”

The article shares the story of one little girl who was born with cerebral palsy. Before she began participating in the therapeutic riding sessions she could not walk and was unable to sit on a horse alone. Now, after frequent participation in the program she is able to sit on the horse alone, steer, and groom it. Amazingly, not long ago volunteers at the facility also saw the girl take steps unassisted for the first time in her life. The girl’s mother admitted, “There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, but I really think the hippotherapy was a major part in my daughter’s walking.”

The particular hippotherapy program serving the girl is close to the Chicagoland area, in Michigan City. The program, known as Reins of Life, has offered these therapy sessions since 1978 and serves about 100 students each week. Children with cerebral palsy are not the only ones who participate in the effort. Program organizers explain that those with autism, ADHD, and others conditions have also benefitted from the sessions. The director explained that they teach riding skills but also help with emotional, social, physical, and cognitive goals. Family members of the child participants report that the sessions often provide a needed self-esteem boost for participants.

Not all children with cerebral palsy can be guaranteed certain advances simply by following a single set of therapies. Not enough is yet known about the condition to say for sure what will work and what wont in every case. However, it is clear that nothing will work if the child and his or her family do not have access to resources to pay for various treatment options. Providing the resources needed to do these things is an important part of our work.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injuries Often Have Lifelong Consequences