I’ll start this post by revealing my bias. I love theatre. I’d always known it was a fun activity and a great way to connect with like minded kids. But studying it in college helped me see the true power of theatre in communities. It is a place for communities to see themselves clearly, but more importantly, it is a safe space for us to practice what we want to see in our everyday lives. It is a powerful tool, when used correctly, for change, both personal and social. I’ve seen it work wonders. So when I learned about a program that uses drama to unleash the social potential in kids with autism I jumped at the chance to enroll my son.
I was a bit apprehensive about his response to this new activity. He doesn’t like to perform or be the center of attention, plus structured movement is a challenge for him. But I’ve read the research that shows the impact therapy like this has on kids with autism. It’s promising that repeated studies show an improvement in face perception, social interaction, and reductions in stress for those participating in “theatre therapy” groups. So we signed up for Drama Interaction’s Adaptive Arts eight-week session, which just ended this weekend.
I was immediately struck with my son’s response to the program. He was fully engaged, developed a connection with the other kids as well as the staff, and surprised me with his easy humor and understanding of how to “perform.” Each week he looked forward to drama club and ran into the session. His confidence has grown, and I’ve noticed an increase in his mastery of nonverbal communication skills. Needless to say we are signing up for another session, which starts next week (January 12). Here’s the details so you can enroll your child as well:
Adaptive Theater Programs
Students participate in acting, improvisation, song, dance, puppetry and more). Great for building social skills, communication, problem solving and making friends.
- Programs for ages 4 and up, all abilities welcome!
- Winter session will run from January 12 to March 21, 2015
- Locations in Maple Grove, Richfield, Burnsville and Hopkins
- Tuition for 12 week session – $200.00 (waivers, CSG can be used)
- Yearly Registration Fee – $25.00 mention Center for Engaging Autism and they will waive the registration fee