One Of the Traits Of Aspergers Syndrome Is…
Being sociably awkward.
People with Aspergers struggle to make friends as they lack the ability to ‘read’ people, meaning they don’t always know when they have upset someone or overstepped the mark. It also means they can be totally unaware when they are being teased or made fun of.
In Spite Of Their Social Awkwardness…
People with Aspergers long to fit in. They too want to be part of a group and to feel included. Which can be particularly hard for teenagers. It is a fact that teenagers with Aspergers and high functioning autism are more prone to depression. The teenage years can be difficult enough for youngsters who aren’t on the autistic spectrum, so life on the spectrum can be exceptionally difficult.
Is a small group of youngsters who meet up on a weekly basis to do a bit of drama. The group is run by a highly energetic and very welcoming English lady called Babs, who encourages the children to be who they are and gives them free reign to use their imaginations (within reason of course!).
The group does trust building exercises, warm ups and tosses ideas around before playing out the ideas in improvised sketches.
The theatre group has been a God send, although initially Greg’s was wary of going, as a theatre group was never a thing he aspired to be part of. But he gave it a go and now looks forward to the weekly meetings; it gets him out of the house and gives him the chance to be a part of something.
The Other Children…
Accept Greg’s for who he is, even though he can go an entire lesson without saying a word to anyone. He’s just happy to be there and to be included. Now it may sound odd that he can go to a theater group, not say much to anyone and still be a part of it all, but that’s the beauty of it. There are no scripts, everything is improvised and Greg’s can do as little or as much as he feels comfortable doing.
It is also a wonderful way to work his imagination, as people with Aspergers have little or no imagination. They find it hard to think outside the box.
The youngsters have been given the opportunity to perform a show at the Zakynthos 5th Annual Dog Show. This only came about last week and the show is tomorrow. So it goes without saying that there has been much excitement.
Last Saturday at the groups theatre meeting, the youngsters tossed around ideas for their show and worked with the ideas that will get their chosen message across; that no dog deserves be ill treated or dumped (which is a major problem on the island and throughout Greece).
This Will Be Greg’s First Public Performance…
(Apart from school plays).
And it’s safe to say that he is quite excited (and a little nervous) about the prospect of being part of a show. He excitedly phoned his Grandparents to see if they could come and watch the show and has even invited his speech therapist.
To anyone who doesn’t know Greg’s it would seem that he is indifferent to it all. He doesn’t exhibit excitement like many of us; another trait of someone with Aspergers syndrome. But I can tell (picking up the phone and phoning his Grandparents was the giveaway, and being his Mum I can recognize the slight twitchiness and awkward smiles as signs of repressed excitement).
So This Week…
Has been very much about the ‘show’ for Greg’s, and we look forward to seeing the Zakynthos Youth Theatre perform their show tomorrow. I am sure it will be great!
I would like to give credit to the young lad (Charlie) who took the original photo that I used in this post. You don’t have to be upfront in the theatre group to feel included. Charlie wanted to be part of the group, but didn’t want to be in front of the camera, his preference is to be behind the camera and if this photo is anything to go by, he’s doing a cracking job.
If you know anyone who is a little ‘different’, do your best to help them feel included and less alienated.
Are you sociably awkward or do you seamlessly fit in with others?
© 2015, Debbie. All rights reserved.