Dance and Autism Workshop Day

By Katherine, Education Assistant

On Thursday 17th January CDS had the pleasure of holding a Dance and Autism Workshop Day.

We started the day with a workshop from Laura Plant from the National Autistic Society. Laura talked to us about autism in general, the different ways that it can affect people and about ways, as facilitators, that we can manage these differences.

It was a very interesting and informative morning; we learnt that ‘when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism’. After lunch we were lucky enough to listen to guest speaker Ben Connors share his story of working with Gabriel. Ben = artist, Gabriel = autist. As their relationship developed Ben and Gabriel co-founded PigPen cultural events, which Gabriel curated, for neuro-typicals and those with autism. They also became ambassadors for the National Autistic Society together. It was brilliant to hear such a positive and inspirational story.

This lead us on to the practical part of the day ‘Experiment/ Discuss /Explore’. We divided into groups and used all the information we’d received to create exercises and tasks that could be used in a class for 8-11 year olds with autism. It was really useful to have chance to share knowledge with each other and to put ideas from the workshop into practice.

Overall, it was a very successful and enjoyable day, thank you to all involved. Really looking forward to the Autism+Me classes getting underway. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities relating to the project.