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Geek Club Books: Developing Social Skills and Friendship through Filmmaking

News for 04.27.17
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Check out this great article by Jodi Murphy at Geek Club Books:

Shared interests. If your child with autism has something they’re really interested in, find a hangout, class, or group activity that focuses on that interest. If you can’t find something, start it yourself. Why? Because it’s one of the best ways for your child to learn and practice social skills and friendship.

When my son, Jonathan, was younger, we found theater. Performing and getting involved in the theater community was life-changing for him. He found friendship, pride, confidence, and, for the first time, saw a path to his future as a voice actor and storyteller. He learned valuable social skills and the importance of working with a team towards a common goal…putting on a show.

Recently, Jonathan’s been doing some volunteer work for Gatepath’s Social Connection. Their social groups develop special interests—yoga, cooking, martial arts, and filmmaking—and provide learning opportunities beyond the mastery of those interests. Jonathan volunteered to help with the film class.

On its surface, the film class feels like any other instruction course on the filmmaking process: scripting, directing, acting, camera work and editing. But the autistic kids, teens and adults who participate takeaway so much more. They learn that their ideas have value and the value of working as a team. They learn to listen to each other, to compromise, and cooperate. Most of all, they feel safe to let their voices be heard in such an inclusive, accepting environment.

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