HIPPOTHERAPY AS A FORM TO SUPPORT SOCIAL FUNCTIONING OF CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY
References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-21-8 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 3, Vol 4, 255-262 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/34/S13.033
The aim of the study was to establish correlations between participation of children with cerebral palsy (CP) in hippotherapy classes and their social functioning. A qualitative strategy was adopted in the study, with the focus on case study methodology. The analysis concerned changes in social functioning of twelve children with CP. It was adopted for the purposes of this study that potential changes will be analysed in terms of the development of social competencies and functioning within basic social roles (a child, student and friend). Furthermore, the study took into account the family environment considered as sociocultural settings in which the child functions. Hippotherapeutic effects were adjusted to the individual needs of each child, with the period of time the children attended the classes being one year. Analyses of documents, observation, interviews and Student Behaviour Inventory by B. Markowska and H. Szafraniec were used in the study. The data were derived from various sources.
The results obtained in the study point to changes occurring in children with CP in terms of their communication with the environment or attitudes. Increased opportunities for communication and self-confidence were conducive to initiation of contacts with others by the examined children. Furthermore, greater resistance to criticism was found in study participants, courtesy phrases were more established, and the children tended to show more affection to others. An additional change which was observed in all children participating in the hippotherapy classes was greater interest in animals. Furthermore, physical fitness of children was also improved, especially overall physical capacity, which translated into the quality of self-care activities.
The examinations, followed by the analysis of the data collected, point to the positive effects of the hippotherapeutic classes. Therefore, it can be presumed that participation in hippotherapeutic classes can lead to the improvements in social functioning of children with CP.
Keywords: cerebral palsy in children, hippotherapy, social functioning,
PAPER DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/34/S13.033 ; HIPPOTHERAPY AS A FORM TO SUPPORT SOCIAL FUNCTIONING OF CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY
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