(Released 3/28/2013 from Newswise.)
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Nisonger Center are trying to determine if teaching strategies based on Shakespeare texts can help children with autism become better communicators.
Children with autism often struggle to communicate. Many avoid eye contact, don’t understand the context of conversation and may miss visual cues from others around them.
But by allowing children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to study with Ohio State University student actors who are engaging students in Shakespeare-based activities, the hope is that they will improve their socializing and communicating skills, said Dr. Marc J. Tassé, director of the Nisonger Center and principal investigator on the waitlist control trial studying the unique intervention.
“In this intervention with middle school children with autism, we’re using Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest,” said Tassé, who is also a clinical psychologist. “It’s quite amazing to see how a Shakespeare play can be transformed into a therapeutic intervention that encourages students to express themselves and communicate.”