Summary of the Systematic Review


The effects of equine-assisted therapy in improving the psycho-social functioning of children with autism

Memishevikj & Hodzhikj

Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation (2010) 




The goal of the present study was to examine the effects of short-term equine-assisted therapy as a complementary therapy modality for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). There were four children in the study, two boys and two girls from ages 8 to 10 years, with ASD included in this study. All of the children were attending a special education school in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The equine-assisted therapy sessions took place once a week for a period of 10 weeks. The results of the study revealed positive effects the therapy had in two of the four children as measured by the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklists (ATEC). The improvement was reported in the domains of speech, socialization, sensory/ cognitive awareness and health/behavior. The authors propose a more widely use of this therapeutic modality in the psychoeducational treatment of children with ASD.


Occupational Therapy 



Intervention Terminology

Equine Assisted Therapy 

Study Design 

Pretest/posttest randomized controlled


4 children 


8-10 years 

Assessment/ Outcome measure tools

Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklists

Result Category 

Psychosocial: speech, socialization, sensory/ cognitive awareness and health/behavior

Dosage/Description of Intervention

1/week x 10 weeks