Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Dr. Whitney Lucas Molitor, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCG
Occupational therapy, adaptive dance, occupational performance, activities of daily living
The purpose of this capstone project was to gain in-depth knowledge on occupational therapy’s role in dance for children and adolescents with special needs. Advanced training and leadership skills were obtained while working with virtual and in-person classes at two dance studios. After the completion of a needs assessment, a five-week adaptive dance program was developed and implemented with children between the ages of 6-15. To determine the effectiveness of the program, the Activities Scale for Kids® (ASK) Performance questionnaire was disseminated as a pre-and post-assessment at the beginning and conclusion of the dance program. Data was analyzed by a paired samples t-test. Half of the participants demonstrated significant changes in performance summary scores. Differences were noted in two of the performance subdomain scores among dance participants which consisted of dressing and transfers. Improvements in scores were seen in personal care, other skills, locomotion, play, and the standing skills subdomains among at least two participants although not deemed statistically significant. These findings provide preliminary evidence that occupational therapists can utilize their clinical skill set and background to create adaptive dance program interventions in a dance studio setting to meet the needs of children of all abilities. Research is needed to validate how movement and creative activities can improve one’s occupational performance in activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, play, leisure, and social participation.
Davis, Amy J., "Exploring Dance-Based Occupational Therapy Interventions Among Children and Adolescents with Disabilities and Special Needs" (2021). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 35.