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Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy: Inspiring Connection on the Autism Spectrum [Paperback]

by Lee R. Chasen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 15, 2011 1849058407 978-1849058407 1
Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy explains and illustrates a clinically-proven approach to social and emotional development which is rooted in the concepts and practices of drama therapy. It presents an engaging and playful drama therapy program which encourages children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to interact and connect with others, leading to the development of important social, emotional, and expressive language skills. The author presents a series of vignettes which demonstrate how drama therapy techniques may be used with children with ASD, and the impact they may have on their ability to interact and connect with others. Providing useful background information on the causes and various treatments of ASD, with particular emphasis on the latest research into mirror neurons, he describes how to set up and run a thirty-session drama therapy program for children with ASD, using techniques such as guided play, drama games, sociometry, puppetry, role-play, video modelling, and improvisation. His explanations draw on examples from his own practice, demonstrating how the sessions might play out and the kind of results that might be expected. Useful information about the kinds of spaces, props and equipment needed is also provided. This inspirational book will be of interest to drama and creative arts therapists, as well as teachers, school psychologists, counsellors and other professionals who work with children with autism spectrum disorders.

Frequently Bought Together

Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy: Inspiring Connection on the Autism Spectrum + Teaching Asperger's Students Social Skills Through Acting: All Their World Is a Stage! + Acting: for Kids on the Autistic Spectrum
Price for all three: $57.49

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Editorial Reviews


'Lee Chasen brilliantly connects current brain research with the challenges of autism to demonstrate why drama therapy works neurologically and practically as a powerful, motivating therapy for children and youth on the autism spectrum...Pragmatic and playful, Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy is a valuable resource able to be replicated successfully by other clinicians. I know that I will use it!' --Sally Bailey, Past President of the National Association for Drama Therapy and Director of the Drama Therapy Program at Kansas State University

About the Author

Lee R. Chasen, PhD, RDT, LCAT, is the Founding Director of Kid Esteem Inc. a non-profit organisation dedicated to the social and emotional vitality and empowerment of children, families, schools, and communities. His groundbreaking work at Kid Esteem Inc. has been featured in Newsday, The New York Times, News 12 television and syndicated radio stations across the USA. A drama therapist in private practice, Lee is based in Long Island, New York.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849058407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849058407
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Both Inspiring and Useful May 2, 2011
By Krista
As a classroom teacher who works with kids on the spectrum, I found this text to be enlightening and inspiring. The stories of specific children and their experiences throughout each 10 week program made this text difficult to put down. I finished it in just a few days! I felt a real connection to these children through the heartfelt voice of the writer. This text was easy to read with the substance I was looking for.

I have to completely disagree with the previous comment which states the text didn't provide examples. This text was full of examples! I was able to utilize many of the examples provided in my own classroom. Teaching within an ABA-styled program, it was refreshing to use such ideas as: "Power videos" to help cope with difficult situations, "How to be a real winner" to reiterate appropriate play behaviors, and "On the right track" which provides a fun way to practice "WH" questions to help maintain connections. These are just a very few of the examples I was able to merge with my own teaching methods. My children loved these fun and engaging lessons and truly got much more out of them than just fun.

I'm not sure how one could read this text WITHOUT gathering numerous examples of engaging activities and lessons to incorporate within either a classroom or a program designed for kids with ASD. Each lesson provided a step-by-step analysis, support and reinforcement for parents, and encompassed personal stories which heightened my enthusiasm. Sometimes they were success stories and others were about the real life difficulties kids with ASD encounter and how staff members were able to handle them. It was nice to finally read a text that was genuine and real.

I would highly recommend this text to teachers, therapists, and all who are looking for creative and engaging ways to motivate and connect with children on the Autism Spectrum.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for! August 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Over the past ten years a number of students with Asperger's syndrome have shown up in my drama program. Drama is a way for these young people to learn how to read body language, facial expressions and tone of voice when communicating with others. I knew that drama was a beneficial art form for my students but I didn't know what was going on inside the brain until reading Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy.

The first half of Chasen's book gets into the nitty gritty of the latest brain research which shows that practicing (rehearsing) certain drama skills can create neural pathways where none existed before -- in the brains of kids with autism. Chasen is quick to point out that this isn't a "cure" for autism but rather a means of learning how to process communications consciously step by step. Most of us are born with an innate ability to "read" others and communicate appropriately. Those with autism, however, do not have that inborn sense and are very apt to be bewildered if not frustrated by other people and are often taken advantage of or bullied by others.

The second half of the book describes in vivid detail Chasen's work with students of varying ages and abilities. (Note the program is geared toward those who have some verbal ability.) The reader "sees" how drama experiences can give students an opportunity to explore and strengthen inner emotional control and outer emotional expressions toward others via precise descriptions of behaviors changing over time. The drama games and activities are carefully designed to bring students along gently in a safe and caring environment.

Seeing an autistic child emerge from inner retreat is an unforgettable experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT !!!!! May 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I Found this book very interesting and helpful in adding creative ideas into my 6-1-2 special needs classroom... the use of puppets and masks in order to help with identify feelings is great and a fun addition to my classroom! A lot of the methods discussed about various play skills I found are a great way to get my students to connect, learn , and have fun. The book discusses methods and ideas that seem to be the perfect mix of " structure" and " fun"- something that I personally struggle with as a teacher. This book really has such a positive feel to it and I enjoy bringing the various methods discussed in the book into my classroom. I would suggest this book strongly to parents and teachers of children/teens/ and even adults
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5.0 out of 5 stars An important piece for ASD and Drama Therapy April 22, 2011
By liz
Lee Chasen's work with children on the spectrum is extraordinary, and an important contribution to the fields of DT and ASDs. His approach and the message of finding joy in the work is inspiring!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected April 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is far from the book description....... I thought it would be more informative and certainly more well written.

This book is a day by day description of a daily program with some children. It doesn't provide examples ..plays nor even skits for use in a clinic program that would like to utilize Drama Therapy. He misses that entirely and I am sorry that concrete material was not provided. For better material I suggest Joseph Strayhorn.
Marvin M Kowalewski, Ph.D Counseling Solutions....Children, Port Charlotte, Fl
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