At home, it is recommended that you work closely with your child’s dance therapist to find methods that work well for your children. Since different children react differently to the therapy, you can either be asked to do some simple exercises and activities at home or limit the dance therapy to the therapy sessions with your dance/movement therapist.
Dance/Movement therapy is a simple, non-invasive, and fun tool, that can be used along with occupational therapy to enhance its benefits. Since dance therapy does work to improve some movement symptoms associated with the autism spectrum, you can start it as soon as your child reaches an age wherein she/he is comfortable with movement.
Dance therapy should be taken from a trained therapist. Your child’s therapist and/or pediatrician may be able to help in referring a parent to a dance therapist. Our database also sorts a vast number of dance therapists based on country, state, and city.
Typically, a therapist will use movement to help a child achieve emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration. The benefits of Dance/Movement Therapy are stress reduction and mood management. Based on the ideology that motion and emotion are interconnected, this creative expression can also help improve communication skills for better relationships. Movement can express aspects of your child’s personality that a licensed therapist can relate to for a deeper connection in recovery therapy.
Children with Autism are known to benefit from Dance Therapy in the following spheres:
Improves attention and concentration.
Helps people with Autism to express their emotions through movement.
It is helpful in increasing their social interaction.
A therapist can help people to develop vocabulary skills, using the imitation of the repetitive movements the person engages in.
They learn different patterns of movements required for daily activities.
Group sessions are best to develop communications and social skills.
Choreographed sequences can help in enhancing one’s memory and recapitulation skills.
Touch during therapy helps in reducing sensitivity to physical touch and helps build trust.
Improved body image.
It helps in developing body awareness and promotes general well-being.
Different planes of motion during therapy help to stimulate verbal communication skills.
Helps them to learn through mirroring and developing trust.
It also helps to strengthen fine motor skills.
It provides a platform to people with ASD to build upon their social skills, which helps them further to understand the emotions and feeling of other people.
They learn to develop empathy.
It helps them to learn adaptation to different situations.
Dance/Movement Therapy entails reinforcing the mind-body approach. It helps children with autism by enhancing the awareness of mind and body that is often misplaced in these children thereby augmenting the inner accord.
It helps them in re-establishing this mind-body connection and return to harmony.
Movement in a dance therapy setting is not just an exercise. The actions, fluidity, and movement are interpreted more like a language. The therapist responds to the movements, assesses body language, nonverbal behaviors and emotional expressions to develop interventions to address the specific needs of the child. Movement is the primary way dance therapists observe, evaluate, and implement therapeutic intervention.
Umpteen studies have maintained the encouraging outcome of DMT in Autism. The onus of the DMT in Autism is on developing a channel for expression of varied emotions that a child with autism may go through, fostering group interaction, promoting interpersonal communication, encouraging eye contact and developing trust.
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