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Revista Electrónica Educare

versión On-line ISSN 1409-4258versión impresa ISSN 1409-4258


AXPE, Inge; RAMOS-DIAZ, Estibaliz; FERNANDEZ-LASARTE, Oihane  y  RODRIGUEZ-FERNANDEZ, Arantzazu. Equine Assisted Activities to help Minors With Autism Spectrum Disorder. A Literature Review. Educare [online]. 2023, vol.27, n.1, pp.512-533. ISSN 1409-4258.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) lacks a definitive treatment, although animal-assisted activities, especially with horses, stand out as an alternative for its symptoms since these animals seem to contribute to enhance several areas of functioning (motor, cognitive...) and reduce, to some extent, the social disconnection inherent to the disorder.


To know the characteristics and efficacy of equine-assisted therapy in working with children with ASD.


Previous literature was reviewed between 2012 and 2020 in various databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PsycArticles, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, Psicodoc, and ERIC), establishing as search and analysis criteria that the publications were refereed, had the full text for subsequent reading and coding (type of intervention, number and characteristics of participants, sessions and duration of treatment, variables and outcomes measured, and methodology used in the study), and had been published from 2012 onwards. Considering the above, 16 interventions carried out between 2012 and 2019 were finally included.


From the articles obtained and reviewed, it was found that therapeutic riding predominates, and significant improvements were observed in the participating children in aspects such as hyperactivity, irritability, motor skills (improving the performance of tasks autonomously), and even certain social aspects such as communication or the reduction of problematic behaviors.


The results show, in general, benefits derived from therapeutic riding in the symptomatology of children with ASD, although aspects such as the maintenance of these improvements in the long term, their generalization to different areas of life, or their greater or lesser relative efficacy compared to other types of treatment remain to be clarified.


Therapeutic riding seems to be a beneficial resource for accompanying children with ASD in the improvement of certain symptoms that hinder their daily life (irritability, hyperactivity, attention, motor aspects) and have a positive impact on their autonomy, although the scope of this review does not allow establishing it as preferential to other types of alternative therapies that should, in any case, be, like therapeutic riding, supported by evidence.

Palabras clave : Autism spectrum disorder; animal-assisted activities; literature review; therapeutic riding.

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