Here are some simple tips for dance teachers to ensure that children who have challenges with communication can participate in dance.
Encourage the child to stand where they can see and hear at all times. Make sure they have a clear view of the movements being demonstrated. If you’re unsure about the best location in class, ask the student what works for them.
Use visual instructions including written words and pictures and have them visible at all times.
Speak Slowly. Simplify what you say. Use simple words and short sentences.
Repeat instructions if needed.
Allow more time for learning. Some kids need more time than others to learn dance movements. Break the moves down. Teach one step at a time.
Check the child has understood what you have said. You can do this in a supportive way by asking a specific questions such as, “Tell me which arm goes up next”.
Some children may uses devices like an iPad to help them communicate. If you are unsure about the best way to communicate with a child, you can ask the child or their parent.
Kids might need extra time to express themselves. Be patient and give them the time they need.
Remember, every child has the right to be involved in all aspects of life, especially dance. Including children with disabilities is not hard; it just requires understanding. You can make the world fit for all kids by including all kids in dance