An interdisciplinary team of Baylor University scientists and engineers is testing a device that simulates the motion of horseback riding as a treatment for children with autism. The device is called MiraColt. The goal is that the device will provide children with autism with the same benefits as therapeutic horseback riding. In August 2020, the team was awarded a grant of nearly $600,000 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to fund the research.
MiraColt mimics the three-dimensional motion of a walking therapy horse to promote balance improvement, gait training, and neuromuscular development. Researchers believe the walking motion of a horse stimulates the rider to physically adjust his/her own movement, which stimulates muscles, senses, and neurological connections.
The researchers are planning a study in which children with autism referred through the Baylor Autism Research Group will spend time riding the mechanical horse while performing other motor and cognitive activities over a 10-week treatment program. The outcomes will be compared to the participants results performing the same activities while sitting still. The assessments will focus on improvements in speech and language, balance, muscle coordination, and even brainwave activity using EEG helmets.
The MiraColt was invented and patented by Brian Garner, Ph.D. To market MiraColt, Dr. Gardner worked with Baylor’s Lab to Market Collaborative to launch Chariot Innovations, LLC.
This was reported by Baylor University on August 21, 2020.
Contact information: Chariot Innovations, LLC, 100 Research Pkwy, Waco, TX 76704; 254-307-2547; Website: https://chariotinnovations.com/contact-us/
Contact information: Lori Fogleman, Media and Public Relations, Baylor University, One Bear Place #97024, Waco, TX 76798; 254-709-5959; Email: email@example.com