First and foremost, there are no hippos involved. :) A friend of mine said I should not tell Parker we are going to hippotherapy because he will be very confused when he sees a horse! I found out that "hippos" is Greek for horse, in case any of you are wondering where it came from.
Hippotherapy is beneficial for a wide variety of diagnoses and impairments including:
- Cerebral Palsy
After doing a 30 minute evaluation of Parker inside the office, the physical therapist (Laurie) took us out to the barn. It was an extremely windy day so all the horses were in their stalls and they were restless. The wind was so loud and the horses were feeling cooped up. I could feel the energy in the air. So I was a little worried. Would Parker's horse be a little skittish? Well, that was cleared up pretty quickly.
If anyone out there is looking for a new therapy, I would strongly recommend hippotherapy. Not only will it be amazing for Parker physically, I think emotionally it will be the best type of therapy for him (along with ABM). He loved it! He had a smile or a very focused face the whole time. There was no crying or frustration that often comes with regular physical therapy. We have only gone once, but I am sold. I will keep updating you and letting you know the progress he is making.
Another good sidenote, they can bill insurance because it is a trained physical therapist that you are working with. It is considered a therapy session. We are not going that route because we are only allowed 30 therapy visits per year, and that includes speech, physical, and occupational therapy! Ridiculous, I know! So we are going to pay out-of-pocket for the hippotherapy because it is more affordable than our other types of therapy. Our occupational therapy appointments at one facitlity (that we don't go to anymore) cost $408 (for an hour). Hipportherapy is $35/15 minutes. So we are just going to do 30 minute sessions (especially since Parker is so young). $70/week is still expensive, but we are going to find a way to make it work.
I will let you know how it goes. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.