Imagining Autism: Feasibility of a Drama-Based Intervention on the Social, Communicative and Imaginative behaviour of Children with Autism

Beadle-Brown, Julie, Wilkinson, David T., Richardson, Lisa, Shaughnessy, Nicola, Trimingham, Melissa, Leigh, Jennifer S, Whelton, Beckie, Himmerich, Julian (2018) Imagining Autism: Feasibility of a Drama-Based Intervention on the Social, Communicative and Imaginative behaviour of Children with Autism. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 22 (8). pp. 915-927. ISSN 1362-3613. E-ISSN 1461-7005. (doi:10.1177/1362361317710797)

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Abstract

We report the feasibility of a novel, school-based intervention, coined ‘Imagining Autism’, in which children with autism engage with drama practitioners though participatory play and improvisation in a themed multi-sensory “pod” resembling a portable, tent-like structure. 22 children, aged 7–12 years, from three UK schools engaged in the 10week programme. Measures of social interaction, communication, emotion recognition, along with parent and teacher ratings, were collected before and up to 12 months after the intervention. Feasibility was evaluated through 4 domains: (1) process (recruitment, retention, blinding, inter-rater reliability, willingness of children to engage), (2) resources (space, logistics), (3) management (dealing with unexpected changes, ease of assessment), and (4) scientific (data outcomes, statistical analyses). Overall, the children, parents and teachers showed high satisfaction with the intervention, the amount of missing data was relatively low, key assessments were implemented as planned, and evidence of potential effect was demonstrated on several key outcome measures. Some difficulties were encountered with recruitment, test administration, parental response, and the logistics of setting up the pod. Following several protocol revisions and the inclusion of a control group, future investigation would be justified to more thoroughly examine treatment effects.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1362361317710797
Uncontrolled keywords: autism, drama, feasibility, intervention, school
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Drama and Theatre
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Nicola Shaughnessy
Date Deposited: 02 May 2017 08:07 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2019 15:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/61589 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Beadle-Brown, Julie: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2306-8801
Shaughnessy, Nicola: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9555-9987
Trimingham, Melissa: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2176-9655
Leigh, Jennifer S: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3672-1462
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