Friday, February 19, 2016

Why I am Doing the Dance Videos / #autism #earlyintervention #executiveFUNction

The goal with the dance videos is to bring awareness to action by parents and Special Educators on the value and benefit of dancing as an efficient and effective strategy to rapidly develop gross motor skills, executive function skills, cross-hemispheric cranial connectivity and all in all increasing cognitive processing speed.

This is of great importance to families with children who have special needs, such as autism. Infants, children and adults like to listen to appealing music and swaying our bodies to it comes naturally. This is not always so with children on the autism spectrum. The antidote is to get them moving and playing, roughhousing (safely), dancing and being adventurous. Do schools support these values? How so?

The ease a parent or Educator has in playing a song and dancing with their child or students in a classroom to strengthen their cognitive-physical syncronicity makes the activity practical and easily to replicate. In addition, dancing  has a tendency to remain novel and fun, which are both prerequisites for the development of executive function skills. The mind becomes engaged when the heart is into it, so to speak then. and this makes the time well-spent and of great value. Moreover, dancing is physically and emotionally rehabilitative and uses instability-muscle training principles all at once. Moving to both rhythm and beat (two very different things) with the body is also a cognitive-physical workout that codes memory into the brain, muscle and bone.

In my work with #theFieldGeneral, a long-time student of mine on the autism spectrum, movement is a major part of our work as is seeking to be still. As a catalyst to get him moving and dancing, I use soccer air dribble as an activity that we segway or transition back and forth from with dancing. In essence we are soccer-dancing. I believe that at heightened levels of momentum and training, the cognitive-physical workout coupled with the interest to keep the ball in the air rapidly develops his 'wherewithal.'

The first two dance videos I have released are on my Blog available through CoachBill.US

They are the initial forays into establishing dance as a therapeutic early intervention tool for children with autism, gross motor or executive function skill deficits. I recognize that there are better skilled dancers than me, but I ask if there are better skilled dancer, Special Educators who can successfully teach students with severe forms of autism how to dance and have fun while doing it. I also recognize that dancing can be a social bridge within a family for a child with limited verbosity. It is an outlet for expression (communication) and releases tension in one and others. All this put together places dancing as a common sense instructional strategy and tool to keep close by as a parent and Special Educator.

For more, go to http://www.CoachBill.US
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