How & why Drama needs to be considered in every facet of the education and society at large. This is a collection of a variety of articles on utilizing drama across the curriculum. I believe there is also one related to utilizing drama to support behavior and emotional wellness. In attempting not to write a thesis, I will just say it is the single most powerful set of strategies that I have in my tool bag regardless of what I am teaching. In fact, all teachers have to put on the "Greatest Show on Earth" when we present societies ideas about our world.
I think that in this time of social isolation it will be a tool that serves teachers and families well. It is important to think that we are using drama when we ask our screaming barely verbal child with autism to try that again. She would work to get it down in volume and in tone until she spoke as if she was was the queen requesting tea from her friend. It should not be used to scold. Think you are the director and your job is to get the line correctly delivered. In the case of those with learning needs you may have to shape the response and gradually up the level of performance. I work with students with emotional impairments where I had to correct the lines of her script. When I reminisce I am filled with laughter, she was getting overwhelmed and started her verbal rage attack begriming with derogatory salutations. I told her excuse me, it is Ms._____ derogatory name. It totally stunned her and stop the rage. From that time on she always addressed me as Ms. K. It works the same way with angry actions. As a speech and communication specialist, I am at awe how powerful my students due when they get involved in drama both in class processing information and community based production. It is nothing short of miraculous! It changes lives.
I witnessed my sister with my nephew utilizing a similar technique. Instead of confronting untruths, she would say do you want to revise your story for better understanding?
My daughter explains to new friends and old that "we are a drama family!" Most of our furniture, pets, housewares and clothing has shared the stage in some production or another. We have both scene the power that it brings to lives in all its various forms.
To clarify, if you have a student or family member on the autism spectrum, I urge you to get involved in both school and community drama activities in at as many levels as you can. I advocate that whatever additional support will the most worthwhile in terms of time and money. I have yet to meet a student with ASD that did not benefit from the experience and most often it become a positive life experience.
The articles have some how too apply to school that can easily be adapted to home. Matt has a wonderful resource that I shared in another lesson. He has everything related to drama across the lifespan. The are things that families can start right now. He has plays, monologues, puppets, pantomimes and cross curricular activities. Take a few minutes to get in touch with your feelings and how you can relay them non-verbally. Act out a range of feelings. If there was anyone at my home, I would be taking 15 minutes everyday to practice some drama in one form or another.
Here is the drama link: https://www.childdrama.com/Menu.html