Dancing with autistic children teaches them rhythm, exercise, movement and most of all will encourage them to climb out of their isolated world where it is a challenge for them to communicate and socialize. Rhythm dancing to music will enable children with autism, to communicate to peers, help with motor skills, teach them to follow instructions, and keep time to the music.
Most autistic children have a repetitive behavior. By teaching them to dance with music, they will use their repetitive behavior to learn new music, words, beats, and interact with others. This gives them an opportunity to release their frustrations that most of them have.
The choices of music that should be selected is chosen as to how, the autistic individual will respond to what has been given to them. For example, some might enjoy a good loud beat that will be acceptable and others may want to hear soft soothing instrumental music. There are those who simply enjoy singing with solo voices or choirs.
Introduce a variety of music. It is important to remember, not to introduce too many variety ranges of music compositions all at one time to the individual child, with autism. This will create anxiety, frustration and could keep the person from having any future joy of understanding what music can do for him or her.
Dancing with rhythm can be accomplished by using a large round ball that the child can hold, setting up a large mirror and having the child view his or her steps by watching with the pupil, their body movements, as you are dancing with them. They can also hold your hand and you can dance with them, by teaching them steps, singing, dancing, being creative with costumes or fun painted faces, using hats, and props.
It is exciting for autistic children to see and hear a person play the piano for rhythm and dancing. Singing, using a tape recorder, watching a video with dancing on it, playing a musical instrument, for example a flute, guitar, or clarinet is excellent, to acquaint the children to new ideas, and sounds. By doing this, encourages the child with autism to expand and grow.
Dancing with rhythm is helpful for autistic children to learn to touch and laugh, by clapping their hands, following the instructions of the teacher and learning new songs with variation of words and beats. In addition, it develops better eye contact, social skills, motor skills, they have become more calm, gained self-confidence and have become better listeners, with articulation that has made their speech become more clear.
Have fun with this exercise of dancing with rhythm. It is best not to push autistic children to dance or become angry with them, if they do not perform, get the correct step or movement. Clapping is another way to add joy to the ingredient of dancing.
Be creative, use your imagination. Remember, some of the children may have their own special songs that they would like to sing or dance to. Allow them to do it and you could vary the music with different beats and words.
Dancing to rhythm with autistic children has developed many positive attributes for the child as well as the parents or caregivers. It is worth the effort for just fun and joy.
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