There is a growing body of research to support the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors and experiencing nature. Everything from gaining trust and feelings of empowerment to various health benefits associated with fresh, moving air and ridding of germs. At Progressive Strides we believe children need to experience their primary occupation (play) in the most natural setting in order to experience true intrinsic motivation and growth in skill and development. The inherent and natural qualities of outdoor experiences cannot be fully simulated in an indoor setting. There is not only that of natural texture exploration such as the feeling of grass on your feet or the soft hair of an animal friend, but also that of natural consequences associated with the freedom of play, which helps us learn and problem solve. These examples only skim the surface of the therapeutic benefits associated with the outdoor, natural environment. Although as parents we try to make sure we are balancing screen time and play time, in a society surrounded by every growing technology, this becomes difficult for us and for our children. At The Farm, children and adults alike can break free from the hold of technology and experience play in its purest and natural form. By experiencing play in this way, unmasked and raw, children are able to grow and develop in their time and their space. Come experience the magic of the outdoors!
The use of horses as a therapeutic tool can often be referred to as hippotherapy. 'Hippo' is the Greek term for 'Horse.' Therefore in its original form, use of the horse in therapy was referred to as Hippotherapy. It is important to understand that Hippotherapy is not a separate type of therapy; it simply is a way to classify a tool that we use within an occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech therapy session. Using the natural and therapeutic movement and characteristics of a specific horse in order to help children meet their therapy goals has been growing in popularity over the last decade. The benefits of the horse have been well documented in research over this time.
See our education page for more details on this unique tool that we may use during therapy sessions.
Megan Carroll, MOT, OTR/L
Megan graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Exercise Science from Elmhurst College. She then went on to obtain her Masters of Occupational Therapy from Midwestern University in 2011. She has worked in a variety of pediatric settings since graduating including indoor and outdoor clinic settings, the school setting and Early Intervention. Although she works with all types of challenges that children face, she specializes in treatment of sensory integration, fine motor/visual motor delays, anxiety/stress management, self-care and hemiplegia.
Megan is energetic and has a passion for helping children. Her enthusiasm for her job is contagious.
We are so thankful for our family here at Progressive Strides. We are blessed to have individuals with such large hearts for children and animals. We are always looking for more volunteers to join our program. If you or someone you know is interested in animals and children and enjoys the great outdoors, send us a message! We would love to chat more!
Megan Carroll, MOT, OTR/L
Therapy Assistant/Billing Director