Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang


This literature review examines dance movement therapy as an intervention to help children with autism spectrum disorder strengthen social and communication skills. Social barriers due to autism include taking turns, making decisions, participating in joint attention, recognizing emotions in others, and recognizing social cues. Communication skills in children with autism can vary from being unable to verbally express wants and needs to only utilizing gestures to communicate. Dance movement therapy uses the strengths of the children to help develop a communication system that can be understood by those around them. Research studies help to show that use of dance movement therapy interventions and methods such as body awareness, kinesthetic attunement, mirroring, and rhythm help a child develop these skills that hinder their way of interacting in different environments. The research provided evidence that dance movement therapy is helping children develop skills which enhance their ability to create more meaningful interpersonal relationships. The numerous pieces of research found recommends the use of dance movement therapy as the primary therapy to help enhance social and communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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