Helping your child with autism enjoy a dance class

Posted on: 13 September 2016

Dance class has a number of benefits for children with autism, but some dance classes can be overwhelming for children with autism. Finding a great dance class for your child with autism can help your child to embrace their physicality, increase flexibility and enjoy a chance to a social activities with their peers. 

Here are some things to do when you are looking for a music class for your child. 

Chat to the instructor before you start

Have a chat to the instructor before you start the class and let them know if your child is particularly stressed by any issues such as very loud music, touch, or other stimuli. They can often help you to select the right class and time for your child, and help your child to manage the stimulus of the class. They can also pair your child with an understanding peer to help them enjoy the class. 

Start early

It can be a good idea to start dance classes at an early age, so that your child can gain some of the benefits early on by starting classes while they are still relatively young. It can be easiest to start before you have the pressures of schooling so that your child is not already exhausted with the pressures of interacting in a formal school environment. Preschool dance classes can be a great way to make some peer relationships with your child before they start in school so that they can practise some social skills. 

Be flexible

If your child enjoys dance classes but does not want to participate in the end-of-year performance or wear a special costume it's perfect if you can show some flexibility. In the scheme of things, it's most important that your child enjoys their weekly classes and gets the benefits of joining in and getting physical and social enjoyment from the class. 

Some classes place a lot of focus on performance while others have a more process based focus where they focus on each child enjoying the process of each class. By being allowed to stretch themselves physically and emotionally, each child can maximise their personal ability in a way that in fun and accessible. Performance doesn't need to be an end goal for all children. 

If you have an autistic child who prefers to express themselves physically rather than using speech, it can be great to get them involved in preschool dance class early on. Why wait, call now!

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