Autism Theater Project

Our Classes

“For me, the greatest joy is meeting a child who at first seems nonverbal, but after going through our classes, gets to the point where he tells me his name… Have faith in your students. They feel it, and you inspire them to have faith in themselves. And then the magic starts to happen.”

~ Gena Sims
Founder

Our Teaching Beliefs:

  • Everyone has a voice, and we can help them express it
  • Theater can help children develop verbal & non-verbal communication
  • Both autistic and non-autistic children have a deep capacity for empathy
  • Believe that a child can surprise you and they will

Our Drama Workshop Program

We adapt common theater exercises to suit the needs of our students, including-

  • Increased eye contact
  • Effective social skills
  • Expressing & identifying emotions
  • Verbal & nonverbal communication

 

A main activity in our program is “social scenes”. In social scenes, students act out “social stories”, an effective educational concept developed by autism consultant Carol Gray. Through role play, they practice proper behavior in the following situations, among others:

  • Following teachers’ directions
  • Staying with parents at the supermarket
  • Respecting people’s personal space
  • Sharing with friends
  • Including others in group activities

 

Students also learn how to empathize with “roles” they have yet to play, like their teachers and parents. By understanding how their actions affect others, they are motivated to make positive changes to their behavior.

Our Playground Empathy Program

Developed for advanced students, our Playground Empathy program teaches students how to be effective leaders on the playground and beyond.

We use our “social scenes” method to address situations that students say they are currently experiencing, like conflict with friends.
We also show students a video of our production, “In the Life of a Child”. The production shows them how children with and without disabilities can learn from one another. In the process, students learn that, at the heart, we are all one and the same, yet uniquely different. This lesson inspires them to lead class discussions about how our differences can become our strengths. And with this wisdom, our students will become effective leaders in the future.

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© 2022 Autism Theater Project – Everyone has a voice