Autism Spectrum Disorder

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One in every eighty-eight children in the United States is born with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (“What Is Autism?”). ASD is a neurological disorder of the brain that affects how a person behaves, social interactions, and how they think and learn. Several different therapies exist for ASD; Equine Assisted Therapies being the most beneficial for children with ASD. There are two different types of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT), physical and psychological. Although critics say that traditional therapies and medications should be used for ASD, alternative therapies such as Equine Assisted Therapy should be used and covered by insurance companies because of the unique benefits it provides. Equine Assisted Therapy provides positive results because it is multi-sensory and the patient becomes more in touch with their feelings. The last two decades have seen ASD skyrocket from one child in 2,500 to one in every eight-eight. Boys are five times more likely to be born with ASD. Scientists participating in the Autism Genome Project (AGP) at Duke believe it is because the genes associated with ASD include the Y-chromosome. One in every fifty-four boys will be born with ASD, while one in every 252 girls will be born with it. In 1943, Autism was first identified by Leo Kanner, a scientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Hans Asperger discovered a milder form of autism that most kids are diagnosed with, named Asperger’s after him (Ballaro and Griswold). Asperger syndrome, Autism and

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