OThis topic of research moves the field of dance and movement therapy (DMT) into an area of clinical and social relevance by investigating the most beneficial features of rhythm and music for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The current literature suggests that rhythm, used both inside and outside of DMT, can improve communication skills and social development in children with ASD. However, the optimum features of music and rhythm are ambiguous, consequently limiting the integration of rhythm-based interventions into practice. To answer the research question “What are the most common features of music and rhythm used by registered dance and movement therapists for children with ASD?”, we surveyed 113 registered dance and movement therapists, regarding the most common features of music and rhythm they used within their sessions with autistic children. Most dance and movement therapists used music that had a 4⁄4 time signature (64 %), was moderato tempo (45 %), and had lyrics (76 %). Qualitative findings validated why these were the most common features of music and rhythm. These musical elements could regularly be integrated into new music and rhythm-based interventions targeting communications skills and social development for children with autism to improve their therapeutic potential.
P Morris, E Hope, T Foulsham, JP Mills (2021). Dance, rhythm, and autism spectrum disorder: An explorative study. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 73, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2020.101755