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.


Melanie said...

That is so awesome. I was thinking about doing that kind of therapy for Whitney, but I need to see what our insurance will cover. Pet me know how it helps Lily. She is doing so great. Keep up the good work!


Kimberly Whitaker said...

I am so glad you posted about this. I have had recomendation from Abbie's PT for this Hippo therapy and one of the PA's at our Dr.'s office has a daughter that specailizes in it. I was going to call this week on it. Let me know how things go. She looks great!

Angie said...

She looks so good on the horse and so balanced! Good job Lily. We don't have a big facility in our area. You are so lucky! But we do have what is called the New Kingdom Trailriders that consist of volunteers who do this. Alayna has to be at least 3 years old though, so we have to wait....booohooo. We are still working on the sitting thing, so she wouldn't be ready anyway. I hope all of you are doing great and we think of you often. Thanks again for helping plan the conference. We are looking forward to it. By then Lily will probably be walking! Her strength and coordination is impressive. Maybe she can teach Alayna a little! Take care!