Columbia- MARYLAND – Donna Piddel, a ballet dancer, found music soothed her in utero baby. Her son Alexander was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and dance and music continued to soothe him through his early childhood years.
Donna quickly developed and taught a children’s expressions through music program until her son was too old for the program. Alexander is now 27 and his mother has now founded The Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland in Columbia. She offers and Exceptional Dancers class for children on the autism spectrum.
Sarah Croushler is the instructor for these classes. She is a patient board-certified dance and movement therapist. She bases her classes on the kids and takes their lead unlike traditional ballet/dance classes.
Through this program children ages five to fifteen are able to use movement and music to express themselves. They are also learning at the same time, increased body awareness. Their social skills will improve as they interact with teachers and other students.
For children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, classes like this allow them to express themselves freely. Girls are excited to wear the ballet outfits and express themselves dancing across the floor and being able to see their movements in the large mirrored walls. The boys are just as excited to use the entire dance floor to express themselves.
Source: Lane Page on the Baltimore Sun website:Ballet Royale brings music and dance to children with autism