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University of Delaware: "One in every 40 children falls within the spectrum of ...autism"

Jan 3, 2020, UD Daily (University of Delaware): MOVING FORWARD WITH AUTISM One of every 40 children falls within the spectrum of disorders known as autism, according to a study published by Pediatrics in December 2018. They struggle—in varying amounts—with communication, social interaction and repetitive actions, and they experience our world in many different ways. Anjana Bhat’s work at the University of Delaware points to promising new dimensions in the therapies available to those with autism, adding creative motion, music and robotics to the therapist’s tool chest. Her work is helping patients build motor and communication skills. Q: What do you study, and what led you into this field? Bhat: I am a pediatric physical therapist and I am interested in developing creative therapies for children. For the last 17 years, I have worked with children with autism and have developed different creative interventions using musical rhythms, robot trainers and creative yoga. Most recently, in collaboration with Lynnette Overby, UD professor of theatre and dance, and her students, we have developed an eight-week dance/creative movement protocol that was administered to 13 children with autism. We are still analyzing the data to determine our results. I always wanted to make a difference, help people, work in health care, and eventually, knew that I would like to work with special needs children. Very late in my career, I was introduced to children with autism and all the difficulties faced by their families. It is a pretty devastating diagnosis. …


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