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Dance therapy does wonders for disabled kids. Check it out

Who doesn't love to move to the beats of music? Be it tapping your feet and fingers or moving your head, all of us respond to music. And for children, it is perhaps the best form of self-expression.

It is perhaps this aspect that also makes dance such a great form of therapy for kids and adults. It helps improve the emotional, physical and mental health and experts believe that in the case of kids with disabilities, it's a great stress buster and confidence booster.

Dr Surekha Ramachandran, of the Chennai-based Down Syndrome Federation of India (DSFI) is a firm believer in the therapeutic effects of dance. Dr Ramachandran's daughter Babli, who has Down syndrome, is a well-known figure in the classical dance world, having performed at many venues. Babli is a trained dancer and dances professionally.

Like sports, dance can do wonders for a child with special needs. It makes them physically active and it is therefore important. In fact, dance opens new horizons in physical and mental well-being. It increases their self-confidence and helps them understand their aptitude. - Dr Surekha Ramachandran, Founder, Down Syndrome Federation of India

Experts say that the positive effects of dance are most evident in kids with Down syndrome and autism. It helps improve eye-hand coordination and increases awareness about their bodies. Parents can look at professional training like Babli or just moves to music instinctively at home. The advantage of going to a class is that the child gets to socialize and make friends.

Participating in a dance class helps in Touch Therapy, which is important for children with autism. The child touches and learns to trust other people. It also reduces sensitivity to physical contact and touch.

Rekha, Co-founder of Buddhi Special School in Bengaluru, believes dance is perhaps the best form of therapy, especially for children with disabilities.

"Dance therapy is one of the best therapies that I have seen working well for children with developmental disorders like autism and Down syndrome, says Rekha. "It makes them more active and confident. Sometimes, we conduct classes for children. Otherwise, we let them create their own steps and dance to their heart's fill. Either ways, it works really well".

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