Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


Dance/movement therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic treatment that is available to a vast variety of populations. Research proves that children under the age of 12 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience challenges with communication and social skills, abnormalities in body language and regulation, repetitive motor movements (fidgeting), difficulties in play or social activities, and sensitivity to sensory inputs. While literature suggests that dance/movement therapy can provide an effective reduction of the related symptoms seen in developmentally disabled children (ASD/ADHD), there is less emphasis on how dance/movement therapy can offer similar relief for the family members of neurodivergent children. Caregivers of these children often need to adapt their personal needs, daily routines, experience stress, burnout, and depression, while also enduring social isolation and challenges within their personal relationships. This review seeks a greater understanding of the obstacles caregivers and their developmentally disabled child undergo and encourages dance/movement therapy to be employed for the betterment of the family system’s daily lives.

Creative Commons License

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




The author owns the copyright to this work.