Movement Therapy May Help Parents of Autistic Children

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Parents whose autistic children turn their lives upside down might turn to a movement therapist for help.

Understanding children's nonverbal expressions can be a springboard for managing their tantrums and improving their socialization, Suzi Tortora, Ed.D., explained at a press conference on Parkinson's disease sponsored by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.

Dr. Tortora, who is a certified movement analyst and dance therapist with a private practice in New York City, works with a variety of children, including those with autism and pervasive development disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and unspecified developmental delays.

Dr. Tortora's intervention strategies are based on harnessing the child's own unique ways of coping and responding to the environment and using the child's nonverbal actions as communication tools. She observes and interacts with her child clients and their parents and uses principles of movement analysis to interpret a child's particular movement expressions and determine how the child is responding to his or her environment. …


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