The Hypotherapy Project has already helped more than 600 children and young people with special needs SEGS

Therapeutic methods use contact with horses and nature to diagnose various diseases

EquoSorriso – Equotherapy and Playful Equitation was founded in 2013 as a result of a young woman’s love for Creole horses and her desire to revolutionize the world of children with special needs. Rubia was created as a tribute to the legacy of Collect, who died at the age of 17, the Civil Society Organization (OSC), which provides hypothetical empowerment of children and adolescents for social, family and school life in Sao Jose dos Pinheis (PR). , Was named after the wide smile on the teenager’s face.

The organization began its activities after Rubia’s family found a pre-project for children with special needs in their school supplies. Their families were already in the habit of helping with social projects and to give their lives a new meaning, they transformed the place where they lived in Paranানার into a place of reception and hope. “When a baby is sitting on a horse, there is a connection, children with disabilities are very sensitive and a connection is made between the horse’s spine and the baby’s spine,” explained Rosana Collect, director and founder of Ecosoriso.

Hypotherapy is a therapeutic approach that uses an interdisciplinary approach to health, education and horse riding to promote the bio-social development of persons with disabilities. Data from the National Association of Riding Therapies show that the procedure is indicated for genetic, neurological, orthopedic, muscular and clinical metabolic disorders, trauma and surgery sequels, mental illness, psychological and behavioral disorders, and learning and language disorders.

Physical and mental benefits

Between 458 and 377 BC, Hippocrates considered equestrian activity worthy of rebirth, and in his book On Diet from 458 to 377 BC, he mentioned the benefits of riding a horse for health and to protect the human body against disease. A treatment for sleep disorders. Gabriel Walter, a physiotherapist and equestrian specialist, brought riding therapy to Brazil in 1971. In 1997, it was recognized as a therapeutic procedure by the Federal Council of Medicine of Brazil (CFM), and was included in a rehabilitation program for individuals with special needs.

According to the National Association of Riding Therapists, horses help achieve physical and emotional benefits and help relax the body and body awareness of the practitioner, contributing to the development of muscle strength and improved motor coordination. And maintains balance. . “Interaction with the horse, including first contact, primary care, mounting work and final handling, also develops new forms of socialization, confidence and self-esteem,” he told the association.

Currently, EquoSorriso serves more than 600 children from the age of two. Diagnosis varies and ranges from mobility limitations, cerebral palsy, depression, dysplasia and rare syndromes. To carry out its interdisciplinary work, the OSC has professionals in physiotherapy, psychology, pedagogy and equestrianism. The physical therapist is responsible for the motor part, the educator stimulates the playful and sensitive part and the psychologist takes care of the families, as many of the behaviors presented by young people reflect the situations they witness at home.

Unique mentoring that respects the needs of each child

Hypotherapy sessions last one hour and each child receives a separate program of diagnosis and tailored to their needs. Periodically, the program is reviewed and adapted to the child’s progress, stagnation, or return. “Stimulation of hypotherapy reaches the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain responsible for motor coordination and balance. We call it the opening box,” Rozana concludes.

Thinking about beauty, enjoying contact with nature, and imagining are just some of the activities that take place in a hypotherapy session. Connections with the environment and with horses help young people to develop psychologically, as they also deal with psychological problems. According to Carla Agulham, an educator at EquoSorriso, hypotherapy helps with knowledge, memory, stereotyped and radical behavior. Uses stations (stop time for each session) to introduce professional children and youth to challenges.

For Carla, nature plays a fundamental role in the progress of practitioners: “The main difference between classrooms is the wall, young people living with their heads bowed towards cell phones. When I met EquoSorriso, I was working at the Municipal Center for Special Educational Care for Stimulus and Early Assessment. I realized how poor we are in terms of communication because most of the people who go to Echo Soriso live in an apartment, they are surrounded by walls. Hypotherapy opens up the perception of the person and it is interesting. Nature can help seriously and in a very humorous way. “

In addition to the multidisciplinary team, EquoSorriso welcomes volunteers to the community project of the Pontifical Catholic University of Paran ((PUC-PR). More than a thousand students of the institution have already collaborated with the work of Ecosoriso. Throughout its history, the organization has assisted more than 500 children and adolescents in hypothetical sessions.

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