Check out this snip-it from an article in this month’s Parent Express Magazine about our Autism Drama outreach program!
Every Saturday, a group of students with autism and autism spectrum disorders gathers at Hope Community Church in King of Prussia, Pa., for a very special type of play therapy. The students, ranging in age from 5 through 16, are participants in Theatre Horizon’s Autism Drama Outreach Program, which strives to inspire imaginary play, help children with autism find their own voice and teach social skills in a fun and positive way.
The Norristown, Pa. theater began offering the program five years ago, with just one autistic child, his parents and a small group of actors eager to learn how to utilize their experiences in theater to reach children on the autism spectrum. Theatre Horizon now has a rotating staff of 14 experienced teaching theater artists comprising area actors, educators and artists.
“This program is something we’re very passionate about,” says Michael McElroy, education director at Theatre Horizon. “Acting is all about controlling how you’re perceived. But for many of these kids, not knowing how others perceive you is a big challenge. The program teaches communication skills and provides a social forum in which the participants can make connections with the teachers, actors and other students.”