Movement Therapy - Hidden Talents ABA

Autism Movement Therapy: A Guide for Parents

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August 30, 2023 Autism Movement Therapy: A Guide for Parents

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. It can be detected at any age, though it is said to be developmental as its symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.

One of the therapies used to help individuals with autism is Autism Movement Therapy (AMT). This post aims to provide an overview of this innovative approach and how it can benefit children with any form of autism.

A kid on autism movement therapy

What is Autism Movement Therapy?

Autism Movement Therapy is a used therapeutic method that combines movement and music to stimulate the brain and body to work together. The goal of Autism Movement Therapy is to encourage individuals with autism to develop a better understanding of their bodies in space while also improving social skills and communication.

AMT was designed by Joanne Lara, a professional dancer and educator, who saw the potential benefits of movement and music for individuals on the autism spectrum. Her method has been proven to enhance body and spatial awareness, improve motor skills, and promote speech and language development.

A kid dancing

The Benefits of Autism Movement Therapy

1. Improved Motor Skills

Autism movement therapy can significantly improve gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are larger movements your child makes with their arms, legs, or entire body. Fine motor skills involve smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes.

2. Enhanced Communication

Music, dance and rhythm can be used to teach non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions. This can be particularly beneficial for children with autism, who often struggle with interpreting these cues.

3. Social Interaction

AMT involves group activities that encourage interaction with others. This can help children with ASD to feel more comfortable in social situations and foster a sense of belonging.

4. Emotional Wellbeing

The combination of movement and music provides an outlet for self-expression, which can lead to improved self-esteem and overall emotional wellbeing.

A kid enjoys dancing |  Benefits of Autism Movement Therapy

How to Get Started with Autism Movement Therapy

If you're interested in exploring Autism Movement Therapy for your child, here are some steps to get started:

Find a Qualified Therapist: Look for a therapist who has an AMT certification. They should have a solid understanding of ASD and experience working with children on the spectrum.

Observe a Session: Before enrolling your child, ask if you can observe a session. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and how your child might respond to the therapy.

Communicate with the Therapist: Regular communication with the therapist is crucial. They can provide valuable insights into your child's progress and suggest ways to reinforce the therapy at home.

Patience and Persistence: Remember, every child is unique, and progress may be slow. Be patient and persistent, and celebrate every small victory along the way.

Happiness of a kid undergoing the autism movement therapy

In conclusion, Autism Movement Therapy offers a holistic approach to helping children with ASD improve their motor skills, communication, social interaction, and emotional well-being. It's an innovative and effective treatment method that could make a significant difference in your child's life.

Additionally, it's essential to recognize the importance of parent training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Through parent training, caregivers learn strategies and techniques to support their child's development and implement behavior intervention plans effectively, creating a supportive environment both at home and in therapy sessions.

Other therapies for children on the autism spectrum

There are numerous therapies available for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One of the most comprehensive intervention packages is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which addresses various topics such as social skills, communication, reading, academics, and adaptive learning skills. It aims to increase helpful behaviors and decrease harmful ones that impact learning. Other therapeutic interventions include:

  1. Play Therapy: This helps children express their feelings, experiences, and thoughts through play, a natural medium of self-expression for children.
  2. Occupational Therapy: This is aimed at helping children develop the skills necessary for day-to-day activities, such as dressing, eating, and playing.
  3. Speech Therapy: This helps improve communication skills and language development.
  4. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): This can help children with ASD understand how thoughts influence behavior. A therapist shows the child how to change their thinking patterns to improve their behavior and reactions Helpguide.
  5. Early Intervention: These services are designed to address the needs of infants and toddlers with disabilities or delays as soon as possible to enhance their development.
  6. Educational and School-based Therapies: These therapies are integrated into a child's school day and can include individualized educational programs, speech therapy, physical therapy, and more NICHD.
  7. Pharmacological Treatments: Certain medications, like risperidone (Risperdal) and aripiprazole (Abilify), can help reduce emotional distress and aggression in some individuals with ASD Effective Health Care.
  8. Alternative Therapies: These can include special diets, herbal supplements, chiropractic care, animal therapy, art therapy, mindfulness, or relaxation therapies CDC.

Each child is unique and may benefit from a different combination of therapies. The goal is to find the most effective therapeutic approach for each individual child.