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Autism Studies conducted at SpiritHorse

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Department of Psychiatry, The Autism Treatment Center of Dallas, and four partnering universities recently teamed with SpiritHorse International to conduct a two-year study on our work with 24 severely autistic children, and the blinded results were statistically "Significant"; as a group, the children's autism levels moved from a rating of "severe" to a rating of "mild/moderate" in just six months of weekly therapy sessions! "Significant" is the "Gold Standard" for statistical results.

The study included the evaluation of the advanced SpiritHorse methods on persons with autism spectrum disorder, PDD, ASD, or Asperger's. The study measured sensory processing, language, autism severity, and behavioral outcomes.

The study was published in the Journal of Alternative Therapy in Medicine and Health in May 2011, as well as the National Institutes of Health PubMed review in December 2011. Further, it was published in InnoVision Health Media, Scribd, the Ultimate Autism Guide, Unbound MEDLINE,,,, Research Autism,, Autism Service, Education, Research & Training (ASERT), Ultimate Autism Guide, pubget, and brilliantchildarts. Details can be found at or

SpiritHorse International, along with its 67 licensed centers, is in the planning stages of a much larger study that would evaluate the impact of its intervention with 200 - 300 children diagnosed with ASD worldwide, utilizing advanced fMRI techniques.

UT Southwestern Medical Center & The Autism Treatment Center of Dallas conduct study at SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center.

Read the December 2008 Texas Non-Profits report on results

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is defined under Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994). Because there is a lack of clearly defined diagnostic differences between the diagnosis of autism and PDD, the two are sometimes used interchangeably.

Autism presents special issues because each person with autism is unique in his or her abilities, strengths, problems, and health issues. An individual can fall somewhere on the spectrum depending on their social interaction, communication, and other behaviors, relevant to observable contexts related to autism spectrum disorders.

Autism is a neurological disorder that limits a person’s ability to function normally. Behavioral abnormalities, social limitations, sensory processing abnormalities, and impaired ability to communicate are the main issues in this multifaceted disorder.

The following is a link to the Vrije Universiteit paper of SpiritHorse' results from their study in which 9 of 47 children in blinded measurements, after 10 weeks of intervention met the condition of "non-autistic" on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale.


The following Abstract has been produced. The Magic’s in the Methods: Horses, Cones, Circles, Vests and Science – Finding an Effective Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Disabilities with the Power of the Equine.