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AHA Sensory Connections Course



This course applies sensory integration theory, reviews neuroanatomy, and covers horse selection and use of the environment to address sensory processing challenges.  Through interactive discussions, attendees will gain an understanding of treatment for children with sensory processing challenges using equine movement and in the equine assisted therapy environment. Video of children with sensory processing challenges and behavioral expectations that are affected by the child’s sensory processing difficulties will be discussed.  Attendees will be provided an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities and clinical reasoning as part of the course to ensure learning is carried over to the therapists' home practice.   

Course Objectives:
•    Describe how the horses’ movement affects the sensory systems
•    Describe appropriate populations for sensory based applications of equine movement
•    Utilize clinical reasoning for developing treatment plans for patients with sensory processing disorders/sensory challenges including the use of the horse and environment
•    Utilize strategies and techniques to achieve effective treatment using equine movement for the patient with SPD
•    Describe current terminology and sensory based theory and treatment strategies

Intended Audience: This course is intended for Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Speech-Language Pathology Assistants who are including hippotherapy/equine assisted therapy in their practice.

Prerequisite: Attendance of an AHA, Inc. Level I Treatment Principles course.  Attendees must furnish a copy of their Level I Treatment Principles certificate at the time of registering for this course.


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Gina is a New Jersey licensed occupational therapist as well as a Board Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist. She is certified in Sensory Integration and has a strong interest in sensory-based interventions, including Sensory Diets and home programs.  She is an American Hippotherapy Association faculty member and teaches the Level I, Level II, and Sensory Connections course to other therapists using the horse to treat their clients nationally and internationally. Gina continues to expand her knowledge and the knowledge of other therapists about hippotherapy used as a treatment strategy through fieldwork student supervision, national conference presentations and her involvement with the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. as a faculty member, past Board Member and previous Education Committee Chairperson. Gina has a private practice providing occupational therapy services as well as workshops and consultation for those interested in equine assisted activities and therapy. Gina is also a PATH Intl' Advanced Riding Instructor. 


For more information contact: 
Melanie Dominko-Richards, MS, CCC-SLP, HPCS
Coordinator of Therapy Services


Earlier Event: August 23
Orientation & Training Session
Later Event: September 20
Orientation & Training Session