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Occupational Therapy, in its simplest definition, is a profession that helps people across the lifespan do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities, or occupations. While a traditional clinic setting certainly fosters and simulates activities that people want or need to do, the magic of occupational therapy treatment at Manes for Movement lies in the fact that there is no contrived therapy- we do real activities based in a real barn environment to gain function for everyday occupations like dressing, writing, hygiene, feeding and more!

After an evaluation with the client and their family, we set goals to work towards in our weekly sessions. Our goals and treatment sessions span across gross motor, fine motor, visual motor, hygiene, feeding and beyond. What can a typical treatment session look like? In OT, we may create a sign for the stall door of a horse with pictures and shapes to address fine and visual motor skills for handwriting. We may follow a multi-step recipe to get our hands dirty while making special horse cookies to work on executive functioning and sensory processing. We may incorporate hippotherapy by riding the horse around the arena (sometimes in special vaulting positions) to search for a different toy to strengthen our core and upper extremity muscles while providing sensory input, resulting in better tolerance for sitting upright in a chair for fine motor tasks. Using the horse also challenges our motor planning and body awareness when navigating a dynamic environment, like the playground. We may try to eat the carrots and apples we prepare for our horses to develop oral motor skills and reduce picky eating tendencies. We may use different tools to groom our horse to work on crossing midline, grasping and sensory processing to develop skills for our own hygiene routines at home . We have even found that some of our kids learn to modulate the amount of force they use to pet their horse appropriately, and initiate conversations about social skills in watching the horses and humans interact together, or by playing a game with another rider in the arena. All of these things build confidence because they are engaging in real, meaningful and therapeutic occupation. And of course, we have fun throughout the session, too!

The OT department at Manes for Movement is the newest addition to our program, and we have already seen a huge improvement in the lives of our clients and their families by expanding our therapeutic offerings! Manes for Movement is unlike any other facility in the area, and we would be immensely grateful for your donation to support our program during our Month of Giving!
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Manes for Movement, Inc
P.O. Box 1587
Torrance, CA 90505
Tax ID #: 84-2971941

Manes for Movement, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible under IRC Section 170.