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Horticulture Therapy Helps Motor and Social Skills in Children with Asperger’s

Posted: Monday, August 9, 2010 - 11:56


Patrice Hanlon, a gardener with The Gardens at Heather Farm, knows first hand how horticulture therapy can benefit kids with Asperger Syndrome as well as others suffering emotional and physical disabilities. She works with children with Asperger’s and has seen how their social and motor skills have improved as they’ve gardened. She uses as her focus, the definition created by Rebecca Heller and Christine Kramer, that horticulture therapy is “is to maximize social, cognitive, physical and psychological functioning and to enhance general health and wellness.” The sensory gardens at Heather Farm, built with assistance from the Lions Club, are set up to help people with disabilities work in them. For example, the beds are raised so that they are accessible for those in wheelchairs or using walkers. Working with volunteers in the garden helps instill a work ethic for those getting ready to join the job force.

In addition, student gardeners are encouraged to keep a journal that incorporates their writing skills with the science they are learning about gardening. Other horticulture therapy resources Hanlon suggests include: American Horticultural Therapy Association; Horticultural Therapy Institute; and Therapeutic Landscapes Network.

Read original article: Now Growing: Horticulture Therapy

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