I have been teaching youth of all ages and abilities to dance flamenco and practice yoga for 20 years and I so appreciate Joanne Lara and Keri Bowers’ Autism Movement Therapy Method. They have laid out a very practical approach to teaching dance technique and choreography to people on the autism spectrum that is fun, empowering and fully sensory integrated. AMTM helps to develop essential social and emotional skills along with memory retention, focus, relaxation and the physical skills such as coordination and rhythm. Through the dance classes, which create a community of inclusion, the students experience positive social interactions, leading to increased self-esteem, better emotional control and an overall sense of belonging and pride. The book is well laid out with easy to follow instructions and the key skills being taught are highlighted in boxes.
I plan to integrate the lesson plans into my own teachings, especially the using the “dot” concept as a home base, so that each student will know their place in the class which will give them a very simple, clear and safe home base. AMTM is not afraid to raise the bar of expectations and presume competence. Ms’ Lara & Bowers believe that each person will be able to embody their learnings, cooperate, take on leadership roles and be able to take their knowledge out of the dance class and into the world. With is clearly definable goals and easy to follow strategies, Autism Movement Therapy Method, is a whole-brain cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve emotional, physical and social skills for all students.
I highly recommend Autism Movement Therapy Method for all dance teachers, studios and anybody who works teaching movement, as dance should be available to everyone. AMTM is a kind and respectful method to bring the art of dance to people of all abilities.
Full Disclosure: The authors provided me with a copy of Autism Movement Therapy Method to review. All opinions expressed are my own.