Therapy on the back of a horse: when therapy doesn’t feel like work

therapy

image by DVIDSHUB via flickr

The reality is physical therapy sucks, your kids with special needs will tell you that, and okay if they won’t fess up to that truth, I will. As a kid, I hated physio and anything that resembled it, but frankly what kid wouldn’t.
The reason kids hate therapy is because it looks like therapy and frankly, because being stretched, pulled and contorted against muscles that no matter how hard you will them to cooperate they simply won’t.
As an adult and even as a kid I understood it was needed, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Make therapy fun

therapy on the back of a horse

image by Mats Hagwall via Flickr

The trick is finding an activity that is a form of therapy like swimming or horseback riding and using that as well as traditional therapy. I did horseback riding for years as part of my gym program for schools. I would ride for an hour once a week and it was counted as part of my gym class. The point is I loved it and looked forward to going, and it didn’t feel like a form of therapy, even though I was benefiting from it physically and I think some of my classmates thought it was cool too. I know I have said it before, but in case you missed it, the gait of a horse closely mimics the natural gait of humans, thus it is a great form of therapy for kids with cerebral palsy who generally have poor balance.
I understand that not everyone has access to a hippo therapy program (the technical name for riding horses as a form of therapy. But if you want to make therapy more fun find an activity that they love that gets them active and they will then enjoy it more because it won’t feel like work. Swimming is also a good example of this. If you’re having fun and doing something you enjoy why does it need to be called therapy to have the benefits of therapy?
Do you have some creative forms of therapy in your life? I would love to hear about them in the comments below

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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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One Response to Therapy on the back of a horse: when therapy doesn’t feel like work

  1. Crip Video says:

    LOVED horseback riding as therapy as a kid!

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