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UT Southwestern Medical Center & The Autism Treatment Center of Dallas conduct study at SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center.

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the Autism Treatment Center of Dallas (ATC) teamed up with SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center to evaluate the effects of equine assisted therapy in persons with autism spectrum disorder, PDD, ASD, or Asperger’s. The study measured sensory processing, language, autism severity, and behavioral outcomes.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is defined under Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994). Because there is a lack of clearly defined diagnostic differences between the diagnosis of autism and PDD, the two are sometimes used interchangeably.

Autism presents special issues because each person with autism is unique in his or her abilities, strengths, problems, and health issues. An individual can fall somewhere on the spectrum depending on their social interaction, communication, and other behaviors, relevant to observable contexts related to autism spectrum disorders.

Autism is a neurological disorder that limits a person’s ability to function normally. Behavioral abnormalities, social limitations, sensory processing abnormalities, and impaired ability to communicate are the main issues in this multifaceted disorder.

SpiritHorse Awards

In 2008 SpiritHorse was selected for the Reader’s Digest Make Your Mark Award

SpiritHorse was selected for the Texas Health Resources Community Service
Award award in 2008.

SpiritHorse is the 2006 recipient of the highest honor of the DFW Alliance Healthcare Excellence, The Servant Leadership Award, for “Leadership in high-quality, affordable healthcare”. The 2005 recipient was Baylor Healthcare Systems and 2004 recipient was Parkland Hospital System.

On behalf of SpiritHorse, Charles Fletcher, Founder, received the 2006 Doers, and Unsung Heroes Award presented by The Real Estate Council. This award recognized one individual in each of four North Texas Counties: Tarrant, Dallas, Collin, and Denton who represent a variety of endeavors in the community.  Charles was the Denton County winner.

In 2005 SpiritHorse was selected by The Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas for its Travis Ahrens Award.

STUDY SHOWS EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AT SPIRITHORSE THERAPEUTIC CURES NINE!

(CORINTH, TX) July 2, 2010. Through extensive study of research from leading medical schools, SpiritHorse Therapeutic has developed specific methods for treating autism through equine-assisted therapy. These methods have been utilized in over 30,000 sessions with children with autism during the past five years. Following a study in 2009 by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center that showed statistically “Significant Improvement” in 24 children with autism through intervention at SpiritHorse, representatives from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, visited SpiritHorse for its spring, 2009 semester to study the results of the SpiritHorse program. Their study of 47 children with autism spectrum disorder, just released, also showed a statistically “Significant Improvement”, including nine children who, after ten weeks treatment at SpiritHorse, measured non-autistic on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, a single blinded measurement.  Charles Fletcher, Founder and CEO of SpiritHorse stated that he was very pleased with this confirmation of the success of their work with children with autism spectrum disorder. Mr. Fletcher stated that the specific methods used to re-start the development of a brain hemisphere are now being used successfully with patients with traumatic brain injury, stroke, and cerebral palsy.  Treatment is free of charge at SpiritHorse which produces a need for additional funding. We save our parents an estimated $600,000 per year and in doing so serve the un-served. Especially in these difficult economic times, the organization is in need of help from the public.