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PLAYFUL STRIDES

Holistic Occupational Therapy

Utilizing Equine Movement

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A BIT ABOUT ME

Regan Clementi, OTR/L

As an occupational therapist (registered + licensed),  I get the privilege to dive deep into the "why" of developmental differences, meet each child right where they are, and playfully motivate them to embrace challenges, try new things, and grow further as a grounded, creative, playful child. 

My mission is to utilize the unique strengths of each child to guide play based therapies and develop the sensory motor foundation they need to actualize their full potential. Working towards shared goals, treatment is a combination of sensory motor play, parent consulting, and equine movement. When equine movement is not indicated as the best treatment tool for a client, I also offer therapy services at a sensory gym location, in the community, or in your home.

My treatment sessions are guided by the latest research and development of Ayres Sensory Integration Theory (ASI), DIR-Floortime philosophy, and Trauma Informed Care (more information found via links below).  Simply put, these treatment approaches understand the biological value of play based sessions that aim for intrinsic motivation in therapeutic challenges. These frameworks tie in the complex neurology of movement, attention, sensory processing, and social skills to guide holistic treatment.

About Ayres Sensory Integration® — CLASI (cl-asi.org)

IJCHD-2013-6(3)-Hess-Floortime (centerforthedevelopingmind.com)

Home of DIRFloortime® (Floortime) - What is Floortime? (icdl.com)

What is Trauma-Informed Care? - Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center (chcs.org)

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Boy Playing in Bouncy Castle
Feeding the Horse

Empower
Growth

Why Equine Movement?

The power of a horse's movement adds natural engagement and excitement to treatment while offering grounding, foundational, and formative neuromotor input to the whole body. 

Within treatment, equine movement is fine-tuned by the therapist to provide client-specific, multidimensional movement to optimize sensory and neuromuscular input and support functional outcomes.

 

When a horse walks, its pelvis moves in a three-dimensional way, just as a human pelvis does (anterior to posterior, lateral shift, and rotation). As a rider sits astride the horse, the movement from the horses' pelvis is translated to the rider, imparting neuromotor learning that supports the development of inner core strength, balance, spinal alignment, and respiration. These foundational biological aspects are crucial for the development of self-regulation, postural stability, and coordination.

The unique rhythm of the horses' movement supports regulation and attention as it provides consistent, core-engaging, symmetrical movement that is easily overlapped with visual-motor, social, and coordination-based games. The equine environment presents unique social interactions available within treatment also offers a sensory rich space full of opportunities to naturally build social skills, gross motor, and fine motor tasks. 

Besides all that, it is so much fun! Therapy is always more impactful when the mind and body are engaged in each playful stride.

Read more here;

Hippotherapy Infomercial (americanhippotherapyassociation.org)