Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lily Starts Hippo Therapy!

Lily started a new therapy on Wednesday - Hippo Therapy! Hippo stands for "Horse" in Greek. Lily will be receiving PT and riding a horse each Wednesday morning bright and early at 8am! We are very fortunate to have one of the largest Hippo Therapy facilities in the country near our house. We are also very fortunate that they offer a fee assistance program where we only have to pay a small portion of the cost.

Lily absolutely LOVED it! The arena where they have the horses is heated to about 40-50degrees in the winter. Of course our very first therapy was on the day of a big snow storm - and I bundled Lily up in about 3 layers.

Hippo Therapy is supposed to help with both walking and speech. They are not sure why it helps with speech. They think the part of the brain that is stimulated by the horse is near the "speech cortex" and it gets stimulated as well.

Lily spent about 15 minutes on the horse doing 2 different positions. Straddle and Side Sitting. She was babbling and making sounds the whole time! Afterward she got to play in the PT room and she rode a big green horse like swing. She laughed hysterically and signed more each time it stopped. It was very fun.

We are up to 2 PTs, 1 Hippo, 2 Speech and 1OT per week and 1 Nutrition every other week. A Vision Specialist came out to our house and evaluated Lily this week as well. She will most likely qualify for this service as Lily is still having a lot of trouble with eye contact. 2009 is the year for intense therapy for Lily. Our early intervention program ends at 3 and we want to make the most of it while we have it and while she is approved.