For 10 years, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with HorsePower Therapeutic Learning Center in Colfax, NC. HorsePower is a premier Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) certified equestrian therapy facility. Each summer, graduate students from CSD have participated in this two week camp to gain clinical practicum experience. The population of camp varies from year to year, but has included adjudicated youth with language literacy disorders, school aged children with fluency disorders, developmentally delayed pre-school children and adult survivors of traumatic brain injury. In 2011 the camp’s focus was on school age children who experience autism.
During the summer of 2008, under the direction of Professor Perry Flynn, Dr. Kristine Lundgren, and Professor Lyn Mankoff, faculty members in CSD, the camp focused on the communication deficits associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This three hour per day experience exposes all participants to activities in three learning centers:
- basic barn management
- a classroom setting that is focused on teaching the participants about the thoroughbred race horse industry
This clinical experience also serves as a field research laboratory for students and faculty interested in collecting data on animal assisted therapies, therapeutic riding, cognitive-linguistic, and social engagement deficits associated with autism.