Response to behavioural difficulty through drama.
Posted March 29, 2012on:
Todays blog post is by Kate – who you can follow on twitter @kbarnes2430
Hello all, this blog is to fill in whilst holiday fun is going on for Lauren and her family. I enjoy this blog a great deal and am always eager to read the next blog.
I am a primary school teacher, who has done much research into autism and drama and for my dissertation at university I wrote about the topic at length.
So here we go!
Drama can have an amazing impact for those with autism, it allows even the most severe a chance to develop. A trait many of you will be aware of is behavioural difficulties, we cannot simply say no to a child with autism, as they will not understand. For them to understand they need to see a personal link to the issue in hand.
Whilst training I encountered a young boy who was 7 years old, he was struggling with his behaviour and whilst in mainstream school at that moment, if he wasn’t given the appropriate help soon, then he would end up in a special school.
I was allowed to spend time with him, and work with him alongside his TA, I was hit, bitten and shouted at to begin with, but that was to be expected as the boy did not know me well and had not been able to build trust up with me.
Over time this was created, it was at that time, I introduced my two friends, Pip and Pop who were puppets. These parrots created small scenarios where one would say a nasty thing or hit the other, the other parrot would then express the emotion that would be felt when this happened.
Initially this seemed to have no response for the boy, but one day he started a conversation with me, asking if that was the way I felt when he had hit me. I responded with a yes, and he said sorry. The conversation then went on to approach how he would feel if that was done to him. When they can see it in relationship to themselves they often are able to see that what they are doing is wrong.
I’m not saying that puppetry ended the boy from hitting out completely but it did suppress a large amount of it. Puppets are not humans at the end of the day and children often feel they can talk to a puppet because of this, (what they don’t realise is that the puppet is on the end of a humans hand).
I will leave you with one thought which we must always remember, ACCEPT DIFFERENCE NOT INDIFFERENCE…