Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Family and Consumer Sciences
Cancer is the leading cause of childhood death by disease, and there are many different therapies available to patients. One of the most promising forms of therapy is Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT). DMT is an engaging and creative form of rehabilitation, and focuses on the interaction between the body and mind. With this exercise, patients are able to express their emotional processes through physical movement, allowing for an alternate form of communication.
The way that children engage in DMT is highly influenced by their age and developmental stage. When children are presented with a new task, it may be necessary for the therapist to provide assistance or scaffold the child in achieving goals that they could not reach alone. Children may have varying responses to the therapy, and the Dance/Movement Therapist must be ready to meet each child’s unique needs and individual stage of development.
Children may struggle to comprehend complex terms like cancer or DMT, and so it is important to present this information at an age-appropriate level. One way that this can be accomplished is through a children’s book. Annalise’s Dance is a picture book that will explore the ideas of cancer and DMT and will be completed following this thesis. This book has the potential to be both a coping strategy for children battling cancer, and a teaching tool for both adults and children who may not be familiar with these concepts. This thesis outlines the evidence-base, storyboard, and character sketch of this book.
Schaefer, Megan, "Helping Children Understand: Using Picture Books to Age – Appropriately Explain Dance-Movement Therapy and Childhood Cancer" (2017). Honors Theses. 2914.
Honors Thesis-Open Access