Emerging Programs for Autism Spectrum Disorder: 15 - Movements and development. Art-therapy approach in the complex rehabilitation of children with intellectual disorders, including autism spectrum disorder

Elsevier, Emerging Programs for Autism Spectrum Disorder Improving Communication, Behavior, and Family Dynamics 2021, Pages 243-264
Olga G. Safonicheva, Marina A. Ovchinnikova

The pilot rehabilitation program for children with a combination of intellectual/autism spectrum disorder and motor disorders was realized in a special correction school. The aim was to compensate higher cerebral dysfunctions and improve brain plasticity development. The scientific program included the combination of nondrug therapy, dance–rhythm therapy with elements of folk art, and special gymnastics for activation of the “emotional and cognitive brain.” Teachers used methods of tale-therapy. Musical–rhythmic classes in the traditions of folk art were included into the correctional unit and were an important part of the educational program of the project. The research showed the effectiveness of this approach: it contributed to better coordination and helped to develop proper posture. Music and rhythmic classes taught the child to understand and express emotions and to balance the functions of the higher nervous activity; to integrate locomotor, cardiovascular, respiratory, and cognitive centers to reorganize the brain and improve its plasticity.