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Autism And Dance Therapy Essay

1576 words - 6 pages

Autism is one of the most serious disorders that concern us to study because there are still many unanswered questions. Understanding the possible causes of autism is essential, for quick approach to treatment in situations. As of yet there is no specific cause or cure for autism however, only a variety of treatments are available. One of these traditional teaching methods used in the quest to cure autism is dance therapy. Dance therapy is a form of therapy that has been popular within different groups of people, but most importantly it has become a good go to for autistic children.First, it makes sense to answer the question of what exactly is autism and how does one distinguish the difference between an autistic child and a normal functioning child. As stated in the book Dance and Other Expressive Art and Therapies: When words are not enough, that "autism is not a disease. It is a behaviorally defined developmental disability that affects sociability, language, and a variety of brain functions" (Levy, 191). Autism is not something that can be transmitted from person to person. It is a brain development disorder where a child falls behind in speaking and functioning in day-to-day situations. The disparity between an autistic child and a normal functioning child is in behavior, "the autistic pattern of behavior can be associated with mental retardation of varying degrees of severity, with average intelligence, or even, in rare cases, with above average intelligence"(Erfer, P.194). Unfortunately there is no definite explanation as to why this growing disability is becoming more prominent and common amongst young children. However it is evident that this problem arises from genes and is hereditary but doctors as of now are unable to pinpoint which gene. It is also apparent that autism is "some form of organic brain damage, biochemical imbalance, or disorder of brain development." (Erfer, P.194) Autism is more common in boys than girls (The National Autistic Society). The major symptom that a child is autistic is he exhibits self-stimulating behaviors such hand flapping. The child has a difficult time sitting still, and prefers to be alone. A child may also have problems with motor imitation, which is watching and imitating what is happening. While all of these are red flags, they do not necessary mean that a child is in fact autistic. Autism ranges in degree of severity ranging from the most extreme where a child may be mute to the mildest form known as Aspergers Syndrome.Secondly, one may ask how dance therapy benefits autistic children. There is however, a clear distinct answer. According to the International Dance Therapy Institution of Australia, researchers Sylvia Stachli and Elizabeth Loughlin state that "dance therapists hold that everyday movement consciously and unconsciously expresses personality and personal history. They work to increase the client's self-awareness through expressive movement experiences and attention to the 'felt...

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