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Poster communications

Equine assisted psychotherapy for three children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome: effects on frustration intolerance

Abstract : Relationships with animals are recognized as positive for children with ADHD, ASD or learning disabilities, as confirmed by observations of animal-assisted interventions. This assumption was the baseline initiative of the French “Pas-à-Pas avec Alexia” association that proposes equine-assisted psychotherapy to children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) since May 2012. This syndrome is a rare genetic disease that affects all areas of development and one of its features is maladaptive behaviour. We present here a follow-up of three children with SMS (37, 47 and 74 months old) who experienced weekly equine-assisted psychotherapy for 25 months with the same professional. She wrote individual therapy projects that took the child’s personal issues and parental expectations into account. We analysed observation notes for each session and quarterly reports to evaluate the effects and the relevance of this therapy. A trait common to these three children was frustration intolerance. At the end of the program, each child was able to manage frustrating events better in both equine-assisted psychotherapy and in daily life. The horses’ non-verbal and non-judging characteristics helped these children to transmit their relationship issues that seem to be at the basis of their difficulties to tolerate frustration. As this equine-assisted psychotherapy was positive for these children, the program is being continued. Based on this experience, we are now preparing a pilot study including children with SMS in order to evaluate the effects of equine-assisted psychotherapy on their behavioural disabilities.
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Poster communications
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 1:21:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 7:21:20 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01345247, version 1


Isabelle Le Henaff, Marine Grandgeorge. Equine assisted psychotherapy for three children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome: effects on frustration intolerance. 14th International IAHAIO Conference: Unveiling a new paradigm: HAI in the mainstream, Jul 2016, Paris, France. ⟨hal-01345247⟩



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