-Naples Daily News-
Summertime has many offerings for children’s camps. But the Naples Players Wellness Program offers a unique class for children who are on the autism spectrum (ASD), have ADHD and sensory processing issues.
Craig Price, Naples Players education director, is the instructor of the Acting & Improv summer camp and provides a unique experience for these children. The fundamentals of improv comedy help build self-confidence and improve communication skills, challenges for those with autism.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 59 children has ASD. Throughout the country, there are many programs using improv comedy techniques with children who have autism and other neurobehavioral disorders. Since 2008, Autism Improvised in Atlanta has offered improv to hundreds of children and is an internationally known program. And the renowned Second City improv theater in Chicago has been teaching improv to children since 2013.
Price said, “One of the wonderful things about our inclusive classes for kids is that not only do they include our classes for kids with autism and other sensory processing disabilities, but we are able to include these kids in all of our classes. We had two young men just perform … in our improv performance group after joining that group and after only two sessions with us they were able to join the larger group of students.”
The Acting & Improv for ASD/SPD at The Naples Players offers two-week sessions with classes Monday through Friday. Scholarships are offered for these classes so that anyone who wants to attend can. We are lucky to have a theater in Naples that is addressing these children’s needs.