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Chapter 18: Larry—Parkinson’s Disease

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Eighteen

Larry—Parkinson’s Disease

“I’m sleeping six and a half to seven hours straight now. Before I started riding, many nights I didn’t sleep more than two or three, because of back pain.” Larry Walls said this less than two months after he began hippotherapy.

Dr. Ronald Faries, D.C., remarked on Larry’s progress at this stage in the riding program: “His balance, strength, and stamina have increased tremendously. Many times he comes into the clinic without his walker.

Before he started riding, he didn’t have the ability to maintain upright posture.”1

Eight years earlier Larry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I had heard about his remarkable results, and asked to include his story in the book.

“Sure,” he said, slowly climbing the ramp to the mounting platform.

Two of Larry’s friends had told him about therapeutic riding and urged him to try it. One was volunteer Cecil Hill.

“Cecil kept talking about it, explaining some of the benefits people had experienced, and the procedure. But I was skeptical,” Larry said.

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GLOSSARY numbing of responsiveness to the environment, exaggerated startle response, guilt feelings, impairment of memory, and difficulty in concentration and sleep.

Precautions: Physical or mental conditions which limit an individual’s participation in an equine assisted program.

Proprioception: The mechanism involved in the self-regulation of posture and movement through stimuli originating in receptors imbedded in the joints, tendons, muscles and internal ear (labyrinth). The perception of internal bodily conditions, such as contraction or stretching of muscles, bending, and straightening.

Proprioceptive: Capable of receiving stimuli originating in internal tissue.

Rainbow reins: Reins with bilateral bands of color, enabling the instructor to tell the rider which color to hold for the proper length of rein to carry out various maneuvers, including turning, stopping, backing, and trotting.

Range of Motion: The degree of free, unrestricted motion found in each joint in the body.

Scoliosis: A lateral curvature of the spine, predominantly congenital.

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Chapter 22: Stephen—Shaken Baby Syndrome

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-Two

Stephen—Shaken Baby Syndrome

“Without riding I don’t think Stephen would be walking with a walker now,” nurse Roxann Martin-White said. “People need to know the damage that shaking a baby can do.”

Stephen White is a lucky seven-year-old. Yes, he has endured appalling trauma in his short life and has serious medical problems. Still he is lucky, because he can call Roxann and Joe White his parents.

After bringing up their own four children, the Whites began caring for other youngsters, many of whom came to them with special needs. The couple has adopted six of them. Those who volunteer work a few hours, then we can return to our home. The Whites have made a commitment, which requires twenty-four hours a day. I can’t think of sufficient words to express my admiration for them. Surely countless others the world over are similarly committed, and I am in awe of them all.

Stephen entered the Whites’ lives shortly before his fourth birthday.

“He didn’t crawl, or scoot along on his bottom like he does now,” Martin-White said. “All he could do was roll over. He couldn’t talk, except for a couple of words, and he had no communication skills. He was withdrawn, very quiet.”

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Bulldogging: A timed rodeo event in which the contestant dives from his saddle to grab the horns of a speeding steer, and wrestles it to the ground.

CanTRA: Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association, P. O. Box 24009,

Guelph, Ontario, CA N1E 6V8, (519) 767-0700, Email: ctra@golden. net, http://www.cantra.ca.

Clonus: A form of movement marked by contractions and relaxations of a muscle, occurring in rapid succession.

Contraindications: Physical or mental conditions which prevent an individual’s participation in an equine assisted program; in general, any condition which renders a particular line of treatment improper or undesirable.

CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, a procedure including the timed external compression of the anterior chest wall, to stimulate blood

flow by pumping the heart, and alternating with mouth to mouth breathing, to provide oxygen.

DPT: A series of shots containing a combination of vaccines to immunize against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus.

EAGALA: Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, P. O. Box

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GLOSSARY ing the people, animals, nature, and situations therein, emphasizing emotional, mental, social, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Frog (horse anatomy): Wedge-shaped substance in the sole of the hoof which acts as a cushion.

Gerontology: The scientific study of the process and problems of aging.

Hackamore: Circular device fitting around a horse’s muzzle, an alternative to a metal bit in his mouth, by which the rider communicates signals.

Half-halt: With a rider mounted, the horse is slowed almost to a stop, and then abruptly urged back to normal speed.

Harrington Rod Insertion: A procedure to stabilize the spine by fusing together two or more vertebrae, using either metal (Harrington) rods or bone grafts.

Hemispherectomy: Excision of one cerebral hemisphere, undertaken due to intractable (not adequately controlled by medication) epilepsy, and other cerebral conditions.

Hippotherapy: From the Greek word for horse, hippos, literally meaning therapy with the aid of a horse.

Infantile Spasms: Brief (typically one to five seconds) seizures occurring in clusters of two to one hundred at a time, with possibly dozens of episodes per day.

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