Camp Yes, And: Teens on the autism spectrum and teachers, laughing and learning together
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- This summer, the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University will offer Camp Yes, And -- an improvisational theater camp for teens on the autism spectrum and teachers.
The Indiana Institute also has launched its first ever peer-to-peer funding campaign to raise funds for camp scholarships. Interested individuals may donate online.
Improvisational theater, or improv, may be familiar to people who remember watching Drew Carey and his crew make up characters, scenes and songs on the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” A growing number of arts organizations offer improv classes for teens on the autism spectrum to support them in developing relationships and social cues, flexible thinking and communication skills. Parents and teachers also report that improv classes have helped them to see teens on the spectrum in a new light.
“Improv is a lot of fun,” said camp co-director Jim Ansaldo, “and it also is a highly refined system of observing, connecting, and responding that has one major rule: 'Yes, and.' At its heart, improv is about group agreement and support.”
Ansaldo also pointed out that families of youth on the autism spectrum incur significant medical expenses, “so it’s great to see that people are willing to donate to support camp scholarships.”
Ansaldo, a research scholar at the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, will work alongside Lacy Shawn of the Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas. Shawn is a licensed clinical social worker and serves as director of the Hideout’s Building Connections program, which offers improv classes for youth on the autism spectrum and at-risk youth.
Camp Yes, And, is open to youth of ages 13-18 and educators in university, K-12, and private settings -- including arts organizations. During the first week of camp (June 22-26) teachers will learn the techniques of improv and their application to supporting youth on the spectrum.
During the second week (June 29-July 3), teachers and camp leaders will co-facilitate an improv camp for teens on the spectrum. To learn more about participating in the camp, visit the registration site. Camp Yes, And is supported by the generous contributions of Answers for Autism.
About the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and the Indiana Institute
The Center on Education and Lifelong Learning is a division of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana's University Center for Excellence, which works to increase community capacity through academic instruction, research, dissemination and training, and technical assistance.
About the Office of the Vice Provost for Research
The mission of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research is to work with individuals, teams, centers, institutes, and schools to foster excellence in research and creative activities and to offer support to faculty to successfully compete for external funding. OVPR provides consultation, proposal development services, competitive internal funding programs, and research infrastructure for a wide range of research, scholarly, and creative activities.
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