Advertisement

We Don’t Want to Fit in: A Reflection on the Revolutionary Inclusive Theater Practices of The Miracle Project and Actionplay for Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum

  • Aaron Feinstein
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies In Play, Performance, Learning, and Development book series (PPLD)

Abstract

The teenage years are miserable. The classic presentation: weird pus-filled bulges announcing themselves from the skin, sexual confusion and desire, and the general awkwardness of learning to fit into an adult body, and adult responsibility. This ungainly confluence is only the beginning for those of us who were outcast, ridiculed, or bullied by our peers because of a physical or developmental difference. A vast majority of the work that I have been involved with in my adult life has involved serving people with a range of psychological and developmental diagnoses, most notably teens on the autism spectrum. My theater work with teens on the autism spectrum has been rooted in the fact that I got through the loneliness of my own teenage years because I made my way to one of the safe places for those who don’t fit in within most schools: the Drama Club.

Keywords

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Music Therapy Dominant Culture Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Diagnosis Musical Therapist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Ayers, J. (1973). Sensory integration and learning disorders. Torrance: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  3. Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 91–97. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from: http://approaches.primarymusic.gr/approaches/journal/Approaches_1(2)_2009/Approaches_1(2)2009_Froudaki_Review_ENG.pdf
  4. Baranek, G. T., David, F. J., Poe, M. D., Stone, W. L., & Watson, L. R. (2006). Sensory experiences questionnaire: Discriminating sensory features in young children with autism, developmental delays and typical development. Journal of Child Psychological Psychiatry, 47, 591–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bear, M. F., Connors, D. W., & Paradiso, M. A. (2007). Neuroscience: Exploring the brain (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  6. Boal, A. (1985). Theatre of the oppressed. London: Pluto Classics.Google Scholar
  7. Boal, A. (2002). Games for actors and non-actors. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Bryant, C. (2006). The language of resistance? Czech jokes and joke-telling under Nazi occupation, 1943–45. Journal of Contemporary History, 41(1), 133–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Case-Smith, J., & Bryan, T. (1999). The effects of occupational therapy with sensory integration emphasis on preschool-age children with autism. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 53, 489–497.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Cerliani, L., Maarten, M., Thomas, R. M., Martino, A. D., Thioux, M., & Keysers, C. (2015). Increased functional connectivity between subcortical and cortical resting state networks in autism spectrum disorder. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(8), 767–77. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0101.Google Scholar
  11. Cutler, D. M., Glaeser, E. L., & Norberg, K. E. (2001). Explaining the rise in youth suicide. In J. Gruber (Ed.), Risky behavior among youths: An economic analysis (pp. 219–270). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dunn, W. (2001). The sensations of everyday life: Theoretical, conceptual and pragmatic considerations. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55, 608–620. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from: http://www.aota.org//media/Corporate/Files/Publications/AJOT/Slagle/2001.ashx Google Scholar
  13. Grandin, T. (1996). Thinking in pictures. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  14. Greenspan, S. I., & Wieder, S. (2006). Engaging autism: Using the floortime approach to help children relate, communicate, and think. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.Google Scholar
  15. Greenspan, S. I., Wieder, S., & Simons, R. (1998). The child with special needs: Encouraging intellectual and emotional growth. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, E. (2010). Now I see the moon: A mother, a son, a miracle. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  17. Liss, M., Saulnier, C., Fein, D., & Kinsbourne, M. (2006). Sensory and attention abnormalities in autistic spectrum disorders. Autism, 10(2), 155–172. Retrieved September 1, 2016 from: http://www.kinsbournelab.org/uploads/1/4/3/1/14315208/liss_saulnier_fein__kinsbourne_2006.__sensory_and_attention_abnormalities_in_autistic_spectrum_disorders.pdf.
  18. Lobman, C. (2012). The Miracle Project: Not acting normal. East Side Institute Community News. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from https://esicommunitynews.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/the-miracle-project-not-acting-normal/
  19. McFerran, K. (2010). Adolescents, music and music therapy: Methods and techniques for clinicians, educators and students. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Milner, M. (2006). Freaks, geeks, and cool kids. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Ornitz, E. (1988). Autism: A disorder of directed attention. Brain Dysfunction, 1, 309–322.Google Scholar
  22. Orwell, G. (1945). Funny, but not vulgar. Retrieved September 1, 2016 from http://orwell.ru/library/articles/funny/english/e_funny.
  23. Prizant, B. (2015). Uniquely human: A different way to see autism and create pathways to success. Webinar available at http://presencelearning.com/blog/dr-barry-prizant-in-conversation-with-clay-whitehead/
  24. Schanzenbach, D.W. (2014). Does class size matter? Boulder: National Education Policy Center. Retrieved July 15, 2015, from http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/doesclasssizematter
  25. Shea, V. (2004). A perspective on the research literature related to early intensive behavioral intervention (Lovaas) for young children with autism. Autism, 43, 49–67.Google Scholar
  26. Simpson, F. (2009). The Nordoff-Robbins adventure: Fifty years of creative music therapy. London: James and James Publishers Ltd..Google Scholar
  27. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (Eds.), Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Vygotsky, L. S. (1993). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. Volume 2: The fundamentals of defectology (abnormal psychology and learning disabilities) (R. W. Rieber & A. S. Carton, Eds.; trans: Knox, J. E. & Stevens, C. B.). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  29. Watling, R. L., & Dietz, J. (2007). Immediate effect of Ayres’s sensory integration–based occupational therapy intervention on children with autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 574–583.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Williams, D. (1996). Autism: An inside-out approach. London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Feinstein
    • 1
  1. 1.ActionplayBrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations