drama therapy

definition of drama therapy: Therapy using theatrical techniques to promote health and well-being. Theatrical interventions include: improvisation, role-play, mime, puppetry, and musical theatre.

Using Shakespeare to Help Kids with Autism Communicate

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Dr. Marc Tasse has begun a study focused on using “exaggerated voices and expressions” of Shakespeare’s work to help kids with autism.

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Dr. Marc Tasse, Ohio State Medical Center, has begun a study focused on using “exaggerated voices and expressions” of Shakespeare’s work to help kids with autism communicate. Several years ago, an actress with Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company go the idea; Tasse and the drama teacher Robin Post have taken it to the study phase. There may be something in the beat and repetition of Shakespeare’s words that help kids with autism communicate and become more social.

Actor Brings Drama Workshops to Kids with Asperger’s

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Holly Adams, an actor, was hired by 3-Tier Consulting to bring drama skills to kids on the autism spectrum in New York.

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Holly Adams, an actor, was hired by 3-Tier Consulting to bring drama skills to kids on the autism spectrum in the Watertown and Ft. Drum NY areas. Adding difficulty to the theatre skills was the fact that most kids had a parent in the military, and they moved often. She divided the children into two groups: kids from 4-7; and kids from 9-13. She worked on different areas of motion and expression within the groups. For example, the theme for the younger kids was weather. They got to experience visual, sound, and text cues that related to weather. They could draw and talk about what they would do in the coming winter’s snow. The older children worked with shadow puppets and had to tell a story, even if it was non-verbal. The older kids had to think through color, expression, and shapes as they made masks that identified the character they were playing.

Theatre Horizon Provides Autism Drama Outreach Program

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Theatre Horizon has provided an Autism Drama Outreach Program for five years.

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Theatre Horizon, in Pennsylvania, has provided an Autism Drama Outreach Program for five years. They began with one student and have grown to a year-round program with kids with autism, actors, educators, and artists. Each six-week session combines imaginary play and communication skills to provide a “social forum” in which student actors make connections with each other and with the instructors. The basis of the drama outreach is the Son-Rise program, which is based on play therapy. Kate Altman explains, “The program provides a learning opportunity for both the teachers and the participants. Our goals are acceptance, inclusion and giving people with disabilities value in our society."

Kid Esteem Provides Drama Therapy for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

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Dr. Lee R. Chasen, RDT, LCAT is founder of Kid Esteem, an organization providing empowerment to kids and their families.

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Dr. Lee R. Chasen, RDT, LCAT is founder of Kid Esteem, an organization providing empowerment to kids and their families. The JKP Blog recently interviewed Chasen about his new book, Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy. He has been a drama therapist for 25 years and explained how drama has improved the lives of kids. His book provides examples and stories of how various techniques such as video-modeling, costume, puppetry, improvisation, power lines scripting, and Director’s Chair may help children become more aware of themselves personally and increase interaction with others. In addition, he provides five guidelines for therapists when using drama therapy.

Red Kite Project Provides Camp for Kids with Autism

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The Red Kite Project for kids with autism was started 3 years ago by the Chicago Children’s Theatre.

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The Red Kite Project for kids with autism was started 3 years ago by the Chicago Children’s Theatre. In addition to the 7-month Red Kite performance initiative, Camp Red Kite is a summertime hit among kids. The campers rotate between 4 disciplines: drama, music, art, and movement. To really give the children a camp feeling, neurotypical peers and older kids with autism help out at the camp. One of the camp goals is to “graduate” young campers into the peer camper role.

The Miracle Project Helps Parents Understand their Child's Autism

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Diane Isaacs, co-founder of The Miracle Project, held a recent workshop in India for parents of children with autism.

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Diane Isaacs, co-founder of The Miracle Project, held a recent workshop in India for parents of children with autism. Isaacs uses music, role-playing, and movement to “help unlock the hidden potential in a parent or a special educator first, and ultimately help the child bloom.” The Miracle Project helps parents accept their child where he is, to go with the flow, and learn coping techniques. The Miracle Project works with seven “keys” to unlocking autism; they are described in detail in the article. The workshop was sponsored by the Calcutta chapter of Parent Circle Time Autism Identified (PACTAI).

Creative Arts Therapies Make Use of All Art Forms to Help People with Autism and Other Disabilities

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Creative Arts Therapies (CAT) use art, music, dance/movement, poetry, drama therapies, and psychodrama to help treat autism and other development and psychological delays.

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Creative Arts Therapies (CAT) use art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy, poetry therapy, drama therapy, and psychodrama to help treat autism and other development and psychological delays. Sharon W. Goodill, PhD, defines CAT as "six fields that combine artistic expression with psychotherapy to promote healing, wellness, and personal change." While the six therapies that make up CATs gained professional status in the 1950s, they are each represented by their own professional associations, with an umbrella organization - the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations. Creative art therapists usually focus on one area of the arts to treat healthcare issues, but many use a dual focus in their treatment plans for patients. The six therapies have been found to work well with people who have little or no communication skills, for example, children with autism will often be able to dance or paint or make music as a way of expressing themselves. It is a way to show emotions without verbal communication.

Puppetry as an Alternative Therapy for Children with Autism

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The Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children (SKLC) celebrated 25 years of autism services with a conference on alternative therapies.

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The Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children (SKLC) celebrated 25 years of autism services with a conference on alternative therapies. The India-based C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation promoted information on less-traditional forms of therapy, which included pet therapy, drama therapy, and puppetry. A member of Pavai Centre for Puppetry explained that "Puppetry gives a chance to the teacher to find out what is bothering the child, what makes him happy, sad or angry or simply hesitant to talk." In addition to alternative interventions, SKLC provides speech therapy, behavior therapy, and social skills therapy.

The Saraswathi Kendra Learning Centre for Children (SKLC) celebrated 25 years of autism services with a conference on alternative therapies.

Art Therapy Program in Lexington May Be Imitated Kentucky-Wide

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For three years, Lexington, Kentucky's Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital has paired children with autism and other disabilities with professional artists.

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For three years, Lexington, Kentucky's Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital has paired children with autism and other disabilities with professional artists. State Representative Kelly Flood will introduce legislation to take the "Side by Side" art program state-wide. The children spend their art sessions painting, making collages, drawing, and making sculptures. The art therapy includes occupational therapy techniques and physical and speech therapy. Each child is paired with a working artist and together they create a piece of art to place in a gallery. One family, with three children in the program, allows, "the children to work on art projects 30 to 40 minutes before they go to bed at night helps them transition to bedtime." Their mom describes it as family social interaction time. Flood wants to take the art program as well as dance, music, and drama to five areas in the state.

For three years, Lexington, Kentucky's Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital has paired children with autism and other disabilities with professional artists.

Drama Therapist Takes a Crowd of Kids with Autism and Turns Them into a Cast

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Loretta Gallo-Lopez, a Tampa mental health counselor and drama therapist spent a year rehearsing children with autism to act, create, and produce a play called Journey to the Future.

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Loretta Gallo-Lopez, a Tampa mental health counselor and drama therapist spent a year rehearsing children with autism to act, create, and produce a play they named Journey to the Future. The children came to her from various points on the autism spectrum: Ben was non-verbal, Marcus spent most of his time under the table, and Hailey told everyone what to do. Nonetheless, as the year went on, the kids interacted socially, began sharing, drumming, and creating Journey to the Future. They talked about their homes, their schools, and even each other. Finally the curtain when up, the show went on, and Ben, the play's "famous singing robot" walked on stage. "Ben's voice sounded strangely bluesy, older, slightly hoarse, like that of the artist he'd listened to countless times on his favorite CD. He sounded like a young Louis Armstrong.

I see friends shaking hands, sayin' "How do you do?"

They're really sayin' "I love you."

Loretta Gallo-Lopez, a Tampa mental health counselor and drama therapist spent a year rehearsing children with autism to act, create, and produce a play called Journey to the Future.

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