Date of Award
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine parent perspectives of the effect of Integrative Movement Therapy (IMT), a yoga-based therapy, on social interaction in school age children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A survey was completed by 7 parents of children ages 6-12 diagnosed with an ASD who participated in IMT for an average of once a week for at least 3 months. Data collection included demographic information, history of participation in IMT, social skills, and parent perceived outcomes. Four areas of social development were addressed including (1) Maintaining Interactions (2) Responding to Initiations, (3) Initiating Interaction, and (4) Affective Understanding/ Perspective Taking. Parents retrospectively rated their child’s social skills before and after participation in IMT. A two-tailed paired t-test for all social skills questions combined suggested that participation in IMT had a significant positive effect on social skills of the children in this study. Other areas of behavior reported to be affected by participation in IMT included increased ability to self-calm, increased body awareness, and ability to maintain appropriate personal space, and ability to modify self stimulating behavior. One must take into consideration the small sample size (n = 7) when attempting to generalize these findings to a larger population.