Dance as a Physical Training for Autism and Other Developmental Disorders
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Dance Undergraduate Research Theses; 2019
With IRB approval, I researched the effects of dance as a physical training for the motor abilities of children with developmental disorders. I taught weekly creative dance class to preschoolers at the Nisonger Center Early Childhood Education Program, with a focus on increasing body awareness and motor coordination. My classes consisted of a diverse set of students with varying abilities, all engaged in a preschool/day-care environment. After 7 weekly creative movement classes, I found that my students with developmental disorders had significant gains in their balance as compared to their balance scores, as measured by the Pediatric Balance Scale. This is the first known study of dance as a physical training for children with autism and other developmental disorders and indicates that the form of creative dance studied here is a feasible activity for young children (< 5 years of age) with and without developmental disorders to engage in. Results show that gains in balance were demonstrated among children with developmental disorders following dance training following participation in the classes, suggesting that creative dance activity is a salient form of engaging children with DD to promote body awareness.
Academic Major: Neuroscience
Arts Undergraduate Research Scholarship
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