For Roy, a 14-year-old on the autism spectrum, writing can be a challenge, but he sees significant improvements after being on a horse. It’s a skill he regularly practices in our Occupational Therapy program at Quantum Leap Farm.
Being able to write is a significant milestone on the road to independence. As adults we’re constantly asked to write and sign our name to give consent or make agreements. Handwriting is a complex process of managing written language by coordinating the eyes, arms, hands, pencil grip, letter formation, and body posture. Slow development of a child’s handwriting could hinder a child’s learning because teachers depend on written work to measure how well a child is learning. Our licensed occupational therapist, Alexis Lopez can evaluate the underlying components that support Roy’s handwriting, such as muscle strength, endurance, coordination, and motor control, and create activities on horseback to support good handwriting skills. “I get a lot of joy from working with Roy and seeing such immediate feedback of happiness,” she says.
The legibility of Roy’s writing has improved by strengthening his fine motor skills. His therapy goals are to be able to sign and print his name, phone number and address.