Study highlights the benefits of dance movement psychotherapy for children on the autism spectrum and their caregivers

A team of researchers at Edge Hill University have released a new study that explores the benefits of Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) for children on the autism spectrum and their caregivers.

The primary focus of the study rested not only on the wellbeing of children but also considered the potential of caregivers’ mental health as an effective intervention strategy.

Supritha Aithal, a PhD student conducted the research under the University’s Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing, and her findings suggest that engaging in creative movement and dance in the presence of a qualified therapist can have a positive impact on the wellbeing of children on the autism spectrum and their caregivers.

The study involved 26 children aged between eight to 13-years and 37 caregivers, including parents and teachers, from two SEN schools in the North West of England.

During the DMP sessions, children were met at their preferred verbal and physical level to create kinaesthetic connections, while caregivers were encouraged to explore their strengths and reflect on their coping styles through movements.

The sessions also encouraged children to engage in various levels of sensory-motor activities, creative, playful and improvisational movements.

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