A Dramatic Intervention

September 27, 2016
Shakespeare and Autism

Ohio State theater students and medical researchers are working together to find positive interventions for children with autism.

At first, the little girl sat on the edge of the group, showing little interest in the interactions before her. While other kids danced or played, she stayed still. She was reserved, quiet, antisocial.

Fast forward a few weeks, and that same girl was in the center of the stage, engaged in a game, giggling so hard she could barely say her lines. She shared her excitement with those around her, her eyes meeting theirs, her laughter infectious.

That progression might be expected in the average after-school program. But this small thespian was firmly on the autism scale, and that meant her behavioral changes bordered on revolutionary.

Proving this achievement can be duplicated has been the goal of Ohio State’s Department of Theatre and the Nisonger Center as they work to quantify the success of the Hunter Heartbeat Method, better known as Shakespeare and Autism

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