2014 Study University of Gothenburg – Relatives’ experiences of the Horse Boy Method A qualitative study

Autumn 2014
RESEARCH PROJECT IN PHYSIOTHERAPY, 15 higher education credits

First cycle Title: Relatives’ experiences of the Horse Boy Method
A qualitative study

Author :Supervisor : Susanne Rosberg Ph D, RPT
Hanna Hansson Physiotherapy student
Johanna Robertsson Physiotherapy student                             
Examiner: Kaisa Mannerkorpi MDr, Ass. Prof, RPT

To download the whole study in Swedish please check the bottom of this page.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) means the individual’s inability to interact in natural relationships and situations. Treatment in autism is not particularly explored. Some say the core is to accept people with ASD as they are and some say you should use all possible resources. Parents of children with ASD experience a lot of sadness and are living under constant pressure, they also worry about the siblings who often takes a lot of responsibility. Research has shown that play therapy and therapeutic horseback riding can improve ASD children’s functioning.


Explore relatives’ experiences of the Horse Boy Method for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Half-structured interviews with a hermeneutic phenomenological approach were conducted with seven relatives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who have been participating at least two months in the activities at the Horse Boy Centre in Texas, USA.


Relatives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder experiences’ are described in four categories: Relatives description of the Horse Boy Method, A changed way of seeing and to relate, The relatives’ experiences of the children’s development and Future.


Child-lead treatment and the relative’s situation need more attention in the clinical habilitation in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder. To succeed with this work more research about child lead treatment is required. An inter-professional way of working between professionals who work with these children is also needed.


Autism Spectrum Disorder, Therapeutic Horseback riding, Child-lead treatment, Physiotherapy, Horse Boy Method.


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