Friday, December 29, 2006

Clinic Notes: Ballet and Autism

A recent Schafer Autism Report had a story on a dance instructor in New York who was teaching a ballet class for girls with autism. Many children with autism have body orientation problems. For example, they will sit in front of the TV and not understand that other people cannot see the TV because of them. Or they will look at pictures in a book and think everyone in the room can see the pictures even though they are on no position to do so. One child with autism who comes to my clinic won an award at school. The principal asked her to come to the stage and stand beside him so he could present the award. Obligingly, she went to the stage and stood beside him, but facing away from the audience. Of course, everyone laughed and she got embarrassed. She thought she was doing what she was asked to do.
Spatial concepts and body orientation are difficult for a child with autism and I hope ballet helps the girls in the class. My qestion is since autism is four to five times more common in males why only a class for girls. I'm curious who decided the class would only be for girls. The teacher or parents of male children with autism

No comments: