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Using Drama with Children on the Autism Spectrum

by Carmel Conn

Item: 9780863886010

Format: spiral bound
Pages: 256

This practical manual contains more than 150 activities for use with children aged 5-11 years old. Written for mainstream and special needs teachers, speech & language therapists, drama teachers and dramatherapists, the book shows how using drama with children across the autism spectrum can help to develop:

  • Social skills
  • Playfulness and pretence
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Self-awareness and self-esteem

Taking a developmental approach, the book is divided into two parts: Simple child-focused activities (Units 1-2) for children in a special school setting who are at an early stage of engagement; and Group-orientated activities (Units 3-9) for use in inclusive settings where mixed groups of children, with and without autism, can work together to develop personal and social skills. Each unit focuses on one skill area at a time and follows a similar format which includes a brief theoretical background, a clear set of aims, an assessment profile and a set of drama activities to develop the focus skill. Complete with case studies, photocopiable resources and step-by-step guidance on how to deliver a drama programme, this practical resource will be invaluable for all those who are looking for new ways of engaging children on the autism spectrum.

Contents: How to use this book; Introduction; Part 1 Child-focused work: Relating through drama: An Empty Space – Working with the sensory environment; Simple Groups – Noticing others; Part 2 Group Work: Building skills: Sculpting – Using the body/starting to pretend; Scripts – Rehearsing lines/encouraging speech; Props, Puppets, Costume – Exploring objects and people as objects; Me, Myself, I – Exploring aspects of self; Storytelling – Recalling events/making meaning; Improvisation – Putting experience and emotion together; Ending – Working with the concept of 'finished'; Appendix I: Photocopiable resources; Appendix II: Useful contacts

“Plumb the depths of this rich resource book and enjoy its simplicity and clarity, presented in an engaging and enjoyable style.”
- Dramatherapy

“Wealth of Ideas… well laid out and follows clear developmental lines, backed up by short assessments and clear goals. The package could be used as the basis for a social skills group, and has many ideas which are likely to be engaging for the intended audience. … Speech and Language therapists in all school environments would find this useful, especially if running groups for social skills. Though the framework means it can be used by itself, the modular activities could be dipped into and used as required, without necessarily running all or most of the others. Many of the activities could easily be adapted for older students in special school environments. Unlike some other publications for drama with this client group, it has a wealth of short, easily set-up ideas.”
- Speech & Language Therapy in Practice


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