Using Drama with Children on the Autism Spectrum : A Resource for Practitioners in Education and Health book cover
2nd Edition

Using Drama with Children on the Autism Spectrum
A Resource for Practitioners in Education and Health

ISBN 9781138369436
Published March 25, 2019 by Routledge
212 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The second edition of Using Drama with Children on the Autism Spectrum takes the perspective that support for the learning and development of children should have the purpose of giving them the freedom to be more fully who they are and able to function more effectively as themselves in a wider range of contexts. The focus of this new edition is on learning outcomes as expressed by autistic people, for example, to develop better understandings about the social world and to know how to manage everyday situations more successfully.

This practical resource book contains more than 150 activities for use with children aged 5–11 years old. Written for mainstream and special education teachers, speech and language therapists, drama teachers, play workers and creative arts therapists, the book shows how using drama with children across the autism spectrum can provide valuable experiences in being with others and communicating with them in enjoyable ways that support the development of well-being and confidence. In addition, drama is presented as a rich medium for reflecting on everyday social situations and developing children’s understandings about the social world.

Complete with case studies, photocopiable resources and step-by-step guidance on how to facilitate drama activities that all children can enjoy, this practical resource will be invaluable for those who are looking for new ways of engaging children on the autism spectrum and their peers. The second edition of this practical resource has been extensively revised, updated and re-focused in line with current practice and thinking.

Table of Contents

List of activities



How to use this book

1 An Empty Space Working with the sensory environment



Activities Working with atmosphere and perspective

Exploring shape and colour

Working with opposites


Things to do, say and look for

2 Simple Groups Noticing others and joining in



Activities Beginning and ending rituals

Whole group activities

Activities for pairs in a group

Good group games

3 Sculpting Using the body for expression



Activities Mirroring

Imaginary work with objects and actions

Vocal expression

Sculpting social scenes

4 Props, Puppets and Costume Exploring the language of objects



Activities Objects and their properties

Creative expression using objects

Working with puppets

People as objects

5 Exploring ‘Me’ Different aspects of myself



Activities Group interaction and trust

Me, the facts

Feeling me

My social self


6 Role Playing Exploring roles in everyday life



Activities Call and response warm ups

Exploring roles in the group

Exploring social roles in everyday life


7 Storytelling Thinking about what happens next



Activities Two-part story warm ups

Three-part stories

Who? Where? What?

Storytellling structures

More complex stories

8 Improvisation Making sense of social situations



Activities Individual improvisation

Improvisation in pairs

Whole group improvisation

Forum Theatre

More ideas for improvisation

9 Ending Finishing and moving on


Activities Activities for session endings

Activities for when the group ends




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Dr Carmel Conn is currently Course Leader for the MA SEN/ALN (Autism) that is offered at the University of South Wales. Carmel is also a researcher and regularly publishes academic articles in journals specialising in inclusion and disability.