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Challenges of a Disability& the Benefits of RDA Shacks Barn Farm RDA Group
Outline of Presentation Key conditions General challenges Benefits of horse riding Physical Psychosocial Sensory Horses perspective
Key Conditions Down syndrome- • Extra copy of Chromosome 21. • Can range from Mild to severe. Usually, mental and physical development are slower. • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (LD) is a disability that causes limits on intellectual abilities and adaptive behaviours (conceptual, social, and practical skills people use to function in everyday lives). • IQs (average 90-110) (LD below 70) • They may have delayed language development and slow motor development. • Low Tone • Skeletal difficulties • Sensory impairments (hearing/ vision/ etc)
Fragile X A genetic condition involving changes in part of the X chromosome. It is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability in boys. Symptoms • Delay in crawling, walking, or twisting • Hand clapping or hand biting • Hyperactive or impulsive behaviour • Learning disability • Speech and language delay • Tendency to avoid eye contact Some of these difficulties are present at birth, while others may not develop until after puberty. Associations: • Recurrent infections in children • Seizure disorder • Fragile X syndrome can be a cause of autism or related disorders
Autism Symptoms: • Difficulties with social interaction • Difficult to develop friendships and relate to others, • Problems with verbal and non-verbal communication • Difficulties understanding gestures, body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. • Take comments literally and so misunderstand jokes, metaphors or colloquialisms. • Lack of imagination and creative play - such as not enjoying or taking part in role-play games. • Difficult to understand abstract ideas. • Overriding obsessions with objects, interests or routines, which tend to interfere daily life • Sensory integration difficulties.
Asperger syndrome Aspergers Syndrome is a form of Autisum where people have relatively fewer developmental delays. It is a high functioning form of Autism. Difficulty with communication: May speak fluently, sometimes difficulties judging or understanding the reactions of those they are talking to. Common difficulties include: • Failing to notice the body language of others. • Appearing insensitive to the feelings or views of the listener. • Continually talking, unaware of the listener's interest. • Appearing over-precise in what they say. • Taking comments literally (for example,misunderstanding jokes, metaphors). • Repetitive behaviour and resistance to changes in routine. • Obsessions with particular objects or routines. • Poor coordination. • Fine motor control • Absence of normal facial expression and body language. • Lack of eye contact. • Tendency to spend time alone, with very few friends.
Cerebral Palsy Different types depending on the type of symptoms they have. Main challenges: • Difficulty with walking, writing, eating, talking, dressing • Problems with balance and coordination • Difficulty controlling and maintaining posture (they may need help to sit upright) • Visual difficulties • Hearing problems • There may be abnormal tone (stiffness or floppiness) of the limbs and odd postures. • Reduced range of movement • Sensory Impairments • Abnormal movement patterns
Epilepsy The brain and epileptic seizures • The brain has millions of nerve cells which control the way we think, move and feel. • The nerve cells pass electrical signals to each other. If these signals are disrrupted, or too many signals are sent at once, this causes a seizure (sometimes called a ‘fit’ or ‘attack’). Some facts about seizures • Most seizures happen suddenly without warning, last a short time (a few seconds or minutes) and stop by themselves. • Some people have more than one type of seizure. • Not all seizures involve convulsions (jerking or shaking movements). Some people appear vacant, wander around or seem confused during a seizure. • Some people have seizures when they are awake, called 'awake seizures'. Some people have seizures while they are asleep, called 'asleep seizures' (or ‘nocturnal seizures’). • Injuries can happen during seizures, but many people don't hurt themselves and don't need to go to hospital or see a doctor.
Physical Benefits Improved balance. • The rider is constantly thrown off-balance, requiring that the rider's muscles contract and relax in an attempt to rebalance.. • The three-dimensional rhythmical movement re-creating the muscle pattern for walking • Developing the muscle in the inner ear- responsible for balance Strengthened muscles. • Muscles are strengthened by the increased use involved in riding. Improved coordination, faster reflexes, and better motor planning. • Repetition of patterned movements required in controlling a horse quickens the reflexes and aids in motor planning. Stretching of tight or spastic muscles. • Sitting on a horse requires stretching of the adductor muscles of the thighs. Gravity helps to stretch the muscles in front of the leg as the rider sits on the horse without stirrups. Riding with stirrups with heels level or down helps to stretch the heel cords and calf muscles. Stomach and back muscles are stretched as the rider is encouraged to sit upright. Arm and hand muscles are stretched as part of routine exercises on the horse and by the act of holding and using the reins.
Con…. Decreased spasticity. • Spasticity is reduced by the rhythmic motion of the horse. The warmth of the horse may aid in relaxation, especially of the legs. Sitting astride a horse helps to break up extensor spasms of the lower limbs. Holding the reins helps to break flexor spasm patterns of the upper limbs. Fatigue also helps to decrease spasticity by producing relaxation. Increased range of motion (ROM) of the joints. • As spasticity is reduced, ROM increases. ROM is also improved: mounting and dismounting, tacking up, grooming, and exercises during lessons. Improved respiration and circulation. • Trotting and cantering do increase both respiration and circulation. Improved appetite and digestion. • Like all forms of exercise, riding stimulates the appetite. The digestive tract is also stimulated, increasing the efficiency of digestion. Sensory integration. • All the sensory systems are exercised (other than taste!)
Well-being General sense of well-being. • Exercise in the fresh air, away from hospitals, doctors, school, therapy rooms, or home help to promote a sense of well-being Improved self-confidence • Confidence is gained by mastering a skill normally performed by able-bodied people. The ability to control an animal much larger and stronger than oneself is a great confidence builder. Increased interest in the outside world. • For those confined by a disability, the world tends to shrink in size. Riding increases interest in what is happening around the rider, as the rider explores the world from the back of a horse. Even exercising becomes interesting when done on horseback. Increased interest in one's own life. • The excitement of riding and the experiences involved stimulate the rider, encouraging the rider to speak and communicate about it.
Con…. Improved risk-taking abilities. Development of patience. • Repetition of basic riding principles helps to develop patience. Emotional control and self-discipline. • The rider quickly learns that an out-of-control rider means an out-of-control horse. Shouting, crying, and emotional outbursts upset the horse, which in turn frightens the rider. Riders learn to control these emotions and appropriately express them. Sense of normality.
Social Friendship. • It is normally performed in groups. Riders share a common love of horses and a common experience of riding -- a good foundation on which to build a friendship. Development of respect and love for animals. • Riders find themselves bonding with the animals. They develop an interest in them and learn to care for them. Putting the horse first. • Enjoyment. • Widening experiences
Educational Benefits Reading- Pre reading skills Language development Numbers Sequencing, patterning and motor planning. • These and other similar skills are taught when turning, obstacle courses, pole bending, and many other games and activities. Improved eye-hand coordination. Visual/spatial perception. • This includes our awareness of form and space, and our understanding relationships between forms in our environment. Included in this area are directionality (knowing right from left); space perception, which allows us to differentiate between items close in shape but spatially different (i.e. "h" versus "b"); form perception (i.e. differentiating "h" and "m"); figure ground (picking out an object from the background); and visual sequential memory (such as remembering symbols in a particular sequence or pattern). • Concentration
From the Horse's Perspective Let Me Teach You by Willis Lamm When you are tense, let me teach you to relax.When you are short tempered, let me teach you to be patient.When you are short sighted, let me teach you to see.When you are quick to react, let me teach you to be thoughtful.When you are angry, let me teach you to be serene.When you feel superior, let me teach you to be respectful.When you are self absorbed, let me teach you to think of greater things.When you are arrogant, let me teach you humility.When you are lonely, let me be your companion.When you are tired, let me carry the load.When you need to learn, let me teach you.After all, I am your horse.
A Parents perspective Welcome To Hollandby Emily Perl KingsleyI am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland.""Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.