Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Autism, Theater, Improv, Intervention, Social Cognition
This thesis proposes to evaluate the viability of an improvisational theater-based intervention in a population of youths with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It first discusses the nature of existing neuroscience literature surrounding ASD, indicating a neurological basis for many of the behaviorally and cognitively observable struggles faced by those with ASD (and, therefore, the potential for a critical period for skill development which may be aided by intervention). Skill correlations between improvisational theater and social cognitive difficulties observed in youth with ASD are also discussed. Following this, an experimental design is proposed for an intervention utilizing a 12-week program focused on improvisational theater. Further discussion utilizing interviews with professionals in both theater and cognitive and behavioral development fields is then conducted regarding necessary considerations for this intervention to be effective, as well as potential applicability on a broad scale.
Ergin, Casey, "The Potential Effects of an Improvisational-Based Intervention on Social Cognitive Skills in Autistic Youth: A Discussion of Existing Literature and Considerations for Further Development" (2021). Honors Theses. 2453.