Equestrian summer camp illuminates "starry sky" for China's autistic children
YINCHUAN, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Hu Wen, the mother of Zhao Lu (pseudonym), saw her daughter's long-lost smile this summer.
"After visiting the stables and taking photos with the horses, the moment my daughter got on the pony, she suddenly smiled," Hu Wen said.
Since the opening of the 2019 national youth sports summer camp on August 20, Zhao Lu and 29 other autistic children, known as "children of the stars", have experienced equestrian sports in close contact with horses, in a form of treatment known as hippotherapy.
"Hippotherapy began to rise in Europe and America in the mid-20th century, and it plays an important role in the rehabilitation of children with autism," explained An Likun, head of department at the Yinchuan rehabilitation center for the disabled, adding that hippotherapy helps patients to recover physically and mentally by using the horse's rhythm.
"Exercise promotes sensory development and plays an important role in the recovery of autistic children," continued An, adding that the promotion of equestrian sports in China's western regions has also led to a rise in the application of hippotherapy.