Acting Improves Social Skills

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
30 Oct 2013

A recent research by the Vanderbilt University, October 2013, has released a new intervention program to help improve the social deficits in adolesents with autism. Researchers used the theater to teach reciprocal communication skills. The program is called Social Emotional Neuroscience & Endocrinology (SENSE). Techniques used in this program are: role-play, improvisation, and it culminates in public performances of the play.

A two-week theater camp has improved:

  • social perception
  • social cognition
  • home living skills
  • reduced stress level

Individuals on the autism spectrum can acquire new social skills through interacting with their typically developed peers in an unconventional setting, namely the theater. Social interaction on and off the stage with typically developed peers has contributed to a significant improvement in the quality of social interaction: comprehending/interpreting social cues, duration of interaction, response to social cues…

It is a huge learning opportunity in a very friendly environment. In the beginning of the experiment/camp  it was very stressful, but it quickly became a very positive and relaxing experience. If this program is used as an early intervention techinque it would make a huge difference in kid’s neurological developmental process.

The camp was held for two weeks only, but the results were significantly remarkable.

Read the full article here.

Performing arts represent a very natural and personal way to express one’s self. It is so freeing an liberating to be able to communicate through acting a role in a play, singing, dancing, or playing a musical instrument.

Parrents and educators, try to give your child/students the opportunity to experiment new activities, like being in a performing group or band. You will discover new talents and skills that your child/student never had the chance to demonstrate. Acting has proved to improve social skills. Besides, it is a great opportunity to improve speech and hone linguistic skills. The activity of acting envolves several skills: memory plays an important role, eye contact is indispensible, body/physical co-ordination is essential, among other skills. It is never enough to emphasize the importance of early intervention.

nadia shanab

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