Friday, February 5, 2016

#theJMan: #Dancing His Way Forward / #autism #therapy #earlyintervention #flow

Rushing into action, you fail. Trying to grasp things, you lose them. Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe.

-Lao Tzu

My central aim with integrating dancing as a therapeutic modality when coaching individuals on the autism spectrum is that it is versatile, practical, as long as a song only, stays novel, is engaging and fun. Introducing dancing as a accelerator of the brain's development greatly aids a child on the autism spectrum who's brain is in healing and recovery mode from damages received from the preservatives found in vaccines, like heavy metals, (which common sense tells us it have no place in developing brains).  At any rate, in order to help speed up the rewiring process, parents and educators are asked to consider making dance more a part of every day life. Dancing is a practical activity that a parent can use to develop cognitive and physical  growth in their child quite effortlessly and also as a way to ground themselves before the start of their day or after a long day of parenting. Introducing this functional balance and rhythm practice early on in the formative brain development years of birth through age six or so, sets the child to be confident, agile, attentive and more prone to self-advocacy. The dancing parent also helps set a very positive tone in the household.

Dancing is not just great for the brain and body but it is a colorful communication outlet for the child who does not speak. Right now, I am working with #theJMan very regularly on 'upping his dance game' for example. I verbally prompt him to pop or drop the shoulders, move the elbows, do a 'skateboard squat,' march and bounce with the goal of having him dance in sync to the music and with a smile on his face.

If my student enjoys dancing, then suddenly he now has a new way of interacting with others during a festive time, like a family party. This is monumental in families where the child or youth has a more severe special need. Everyone in the family loves the children and having a fun way to interact with them creates lasting memories for all. Likewise, the child that feels confident to let go and move to the sound of music finds comfort in simple things and forms new bridges between themselves and their family.

I am hoping that #theJMan's dance performance level can continue to rise. In our last session, he independently did basic breakdancing for the first time all on his own. His handstand strength is strong also, though we are still working on keeping the body vertical.  He is responding well to all this and appears to value dance time. I use a soccer ball to keep his motivation level brimming by releasing the ball in the air and doing some  'soccer air dribble' as we dance.  It is all part of the performance we put on.

The #JMan is at a point where he has various dance sequences remembered and he is able to better shift and transition in and out of each one. Being able to integrate different dance modes and/ or modalities on an independent level for him is a big deal. In other words, of the different dance models I have been coding into him, more and more, as we move on to #thenextlevel, I expect him to independently lead the dance performance, rather than taking cues from Coach Bill. He is not called #theFieldGeneral for nothing. He is being groomed to be a leader with #flow.

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