The use of drama to teach social skills in a special school setting for students with autism.
To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9604.2012.01526.x
For children with autism, social challenges may be both part of the disability and a barrier to accessing education. This paper reports on a project which used drama to address such challenges by drawing on the social skills of non-autistic peers in a special school setting. The paper demonstrates how drama’s flexibility may be harnessed in order to help students support each other’s development of creative and communicative skills. Focusing on two children in particular, specific examples are given to illustrate how they participated in group work, made imaginative contributions to verbal and physical representations, and engaged with abstract ideas. The project’s outcomes suggest, given a concrete structure and an invitation to collaborate, drama can be a powerful learning medium for children with ASD. The conclusion reflects on the diverse meaning of inclusive practice which can be achieved within specialist settings.