Could drama workshops help children with autism-spectrum disorders? Results from a pilot study called Imagining Autism suggests this might be the case.
The research involved 22 children aged between 7 and 12 and consisted of one 45-minute session every week for 10 weeks. During this time, groups of four children entered an enclosed themed environment, such as a forest or outer space. These environments were designed to engage all senses simultaneously, using lights, sounds, puppetry and interactive digital elements.
Trained performers used improvisation techniques to encourage the children to engage creatively with the environment and each other, both physically and verbally. The hope was that the sessions would help develop the children’s communication, social interaction, and imagination skills – the “triad of impairments” seen in autism. (1)
Autism most of the times is related to excessive communication and creativity!
Autism most of the times is related to hypersensitivity to sensory input. (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Autistic children may have problem distinguishing fantasy from reality. (10, 11)
What makes us so high and mighty to name all these symptoms “DISEASE”?
We have lost the connection with our self.
We have lost the connection with the world around us.
We have lost the ability to be creative.
We have lost the right to have fantasy like children only can.
We have become alone and cold.
And we treat everyone different as “sick”!
We have named white black.
And black white.
But white is white.
And we must not be afraid to look at it.
WE need to be in the forest again.
WE need to feel again.
NOT the children with autism.
WE need to be human again.
These children are happy in their world.
And we try to make them unhappy by bringing them into ours. [Valia]
Let’s stop trying.
Let’s just love.