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Imagining Autism

Imagining Autism has offered residences in schools and arts venues and are tailored to the specific needs of the venues.

 

Schools

The residencies in schools can be of varying lengths, working with one or more of our environments and specially trained practitioners to offer workshops for students, training for teachers and twilight sessions for parents, families and carers.

In 2018 the team took the ‘pod’ for an extended residency at The Beacon. Students were taken onboard the Imagining Autism spaceship to explore planets in Outer Space. There were three runways to cater for the different ages of students: Runway 1 for the younger students or those who preferred a lower arousal exploration of the environment, Runway 2 for the full immersive experience with UV lighting,  soundscapes, puppets, shadow theatre, interactive media and a specially trained crew and Runway 3 for our more experienced participants who were invited to co-produce a film set in outer space.

Participants said:

“ Trip to the moon – happy”

“Fun, can we do it again?”

“I wanted to stay forever”

“ I wish I could travel to Mars next time”

“Enjoyed having responsibility – filming – director- puppeteer”

Typical staff comments were:

“Excellent encouragement and participation…Time to explore and develop interests in each area.…Given freedom… Great seeing pupil’s imagination come out.”

This was accompanied by a Professionals Symposium and a Family Day:

“He really enjoyed ‘fixing’ the air filter unit and the spaceship radio.  He also loved the puppet aliens, although was nervous about engaging with them at the time.  He used the microphone and really got into it when we launched and took off.  He even got to take home a tiny bit of ‘moonrock’ sponge.”

Since then the team have worked with The Beacon to create their own ‘pod’ and to integrate key elements of Imagining Autism into the curriculum. This project is on-going.

 

Arts Centres and community venues

In 2017 the ‘pod’ was taken for a two-week residency to The Atkinson, Southport. The pod welcomed nearly 200 children from local schools, as well as parents, teachers and other professionals. Here’s what they said:

“I felt really happy that I did something to do with technology as I really like tech but trying a
program I had never tried and controlling the puppets but a large puppet instead of a hand puppet.”

“I would definitely do something like that again and I think I might have found something I could use in the near future.”

“10/10 I would do it again.”

If you would like to be considered as part of a residency, please contact imaginingautism@kent.ac.uk.