S Fla dance therapy class helps kids with autism

Class helps children with autism develop better communication skills

By Kristi Krueger - Anchor/Health Reporter , April Rossdeutscher

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - An innovative South Florida dance therapy class helps children with autism develop better communication and social skills.

At Spectrum Dance Therapy, Audrey Negrin connects with her students through dance.

"Children with autism tend to use one side of the brain, so this forces them to activate the whole brain," said Negrin.

The class focuses on body movement, speech, and expression to get these kids interacting with one another socially. The children enjoy it so much they don't even know it's therapy.

"It is proven to excel movement, coordination, memory, speech, and social skills," said Negrin. "That's all the areas that typically kids with disabilities tend to lack."

Autism affects 1 in every 54 boys and 1 in every 252 girls in the United States. Common signs of this disorder are poor social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Symptoms of autism tend to emerge between the ages of two and three.

Ryan Levy called the class his dance party and his mom said the therapy works.

"When he started out he was kind of all over the place, not following directions and little by little he started joining in the class and participating in the circle time. Now he does the whole class, follows directions, you know, his confidence level has improved," said Vivian Levy.

"My main goal is to see them in a typical dance class, where they could go take hip hop, jazz, ballet, all these different disciplines and dance, and be able to follow an instructor," said Negrin.

Classes are held on Saturdays in North Miami Beach. For more information visit http://www.spectrumdancetherapy.com/#!whyamt/cm8a

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