Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: Can it Improve Self-Regulation and Social Skills in Children Diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

Those who currently suffer with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) find little relief as the development and implementation of intervention strategies are limited and have lagged behind (Astley, 2011; Paley & O’Connor, 2009; Warren, Hewitt, & Thomas, 2011). This literature review examines if equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is a viable behavioral intervention to improve self-regulation and social skills in children diagnosed with FASD. Quantitative EAP studies involving at-risk youth, as well as the only quantitative social skills study conducted with 100 children with FASD are compared, with the majority of studies showing significant, positive results (O’Connor et al., 2006; Schultz et al., 2007; Shultz, 2005; Trotter et al., 2008). Information about the FASD population, diagnosis, prevalence data, and knowledge of professionals who work with this population is explored as it relates to interventions.

Jeanne R. Ketola
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