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Dance can heal: Teachers try dance therapy for children's autism

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, August 10, 2011
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Dancing can be artistic, and at the same time, healing. At the First International Forum of Innovative Education for Children, teachers and parents in China were introduced to dancing, or movement therapy, to try to help children with autism or other disorders.

A few routines and lots of laughter: Energy that links these strangers together can be helpful to children with autism who are resistant to interpersonal communication.

Christina Devereaux has been using dance and movement to treat autistic children in the US for 12 years. This time, she has brought the therapy to China.

Christina Devereaux said, "If I was working with some children with all these energy, it would be inappropriate for me to say "sit down, don't move". It's not where their bodies were. So I might meet them in their jumpy place and movement level. And then from there, started to slow it down, or help them come down to the ground."

Wang Yizhi said, "China is new to such dancing therapy targeting children with various psychological issues. Growing demands for special education have made teachers and parents want to try innovative way to teach their beloved.

In this session, non-classroom teachers and parents have experienced dancing as a therapy for the first time. The Director of the program said 5 years ago parents were resistant to "psychological" intervention for their children, due to the word's negative connotation. But in recent years, things have changed.

Tony Zhou, program director, said, "We have new younger generation coming up, from the 80s, 90s, born with new technology and concept. It's easier, not easy, but easier for them to adapt to new concept and give it a try."

30 years ago, children's autism was not understood in China. Even today, only a few people say that they know about autism. At the First International Forum of Innovative Education for Children, doctors say this genetic disorder is becoming more common among children around the world. Though it cannot be cured, psychological aid can help them overcome part of the disability in order to communicate and connect with society.


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