WHO:
These experiential workshops are designed for participation by students with  Aspergers, High Functioning Austism, ADD and ADHD, bipolar, Tourette's - anyone with a social communication challenge is welcome! 
 
BENEFIT:
Teens develop effective social skills and cultivate friendships as a byproduct of playing "cool" comedy improv games. 
 
SKILLS ADDRESSED:
  • Eye Contact
  • Focus & Impulse Control
  • Reading Verbal, Emotional, Physical Cues
  • Expressing Oneself Verbally, Emotionally, Physically
  • Flexibility, Adjusting to Situations
  • Creativity
  • Voice Projection & Stage Presence
  • Concept of Beginning, Middle and End
  • Teamwork
  • Initiating and Carrying Conversations
 
CLASS CONTENT:
The workshops consist of comedy improvisation games like those seen on the TV Show WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?  The students ask for suggestions from the audience (in this case fellow students) and plug them into simple structures, games and scenes.  At best the outcomes are hilarious, at worst they are interesting. 
 
CLASS FORMAT:
Session Length:  Can be:  45 minutes to 2 hours
Number of Sessions:Sessions may vary from one-time Sessions or up to 6-Session Workshops or an ongoing club.  In many cases the 6-week workshop ends with a show.  Sessions consist of:
  • Group building fun warmups
  • Easy Comedy Improv Skill Building Exercises
  • Fun Comedy Improv Games

PARENT TESTIMONIAL:

From Lynn Davison, Rochester, NY:

"Accidental Social Skills was hands-down the best learning experience our daughter had growing up. Carol helped her channel her wonderful sense of humor into a group of like-minded teens who coached her lovingly. She took in their suggestions and tweeked her behavior in subtle ways to become more effective socially. it was so much fun. Tons of laughs were had and even opportunities to show leadership. So thankful for Carol and her deep understanding of the role of comedy in our kids’ lives."


Link to Monterey County Weekly article about classes:  http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/people/831/a-new-improv-workshop-goes-beyond-humor-teaching-communication-skills/article_1f57ec02-06cd-11e8-bbdb-e36a00e4eac3.html


Link to YouTube video:  Comedy Helps Autism Spectrum Students

 

EXAMPLES OF GAMES:  (Soon to be video examples.)
 
   Mirrors:  In pairs.
Face one another; maintain eye contact.  The leader slowly moves so that the follower can mirror their movements.  Then switch leaders. 
     Skills learned: 
     Great for focus, concentration, eye contact, physical control.
 
  Hitchhiker with a Contagious Emotion:  6 students
In a pretend car (6 folding chairs) students hitchhike one by one, each with a different emotional attitude such as frightened, happy, sad, grumpy...  Each emotion is "contagious".  Upon entering the car the students already in the car must (silently) guess the emotion and adapt to expressing it.  For example, first hitchhiker is perky, the driver and hitchhiker become perky.  Second hitchhiker is angry, the driver and first hitchhiker also become angry.  The third hitchhiker is sad, those in the car also act sad.
    Skills learned:
    Reading physical, facial and verbal emotional cues, Displaying physical, verbal and facial emotions
 
  Slide Show:  Participants:  4 students:
3 "Sliders" who move around arbitrarily; 
1 "Narrator" who asks for a suggestion such as a vacation destination
1.  The Sliders move with random gestures. 
2.  The Narrator calls Freeze. 
3.  The Narrator then interprets and justifies the sliders' positions based on the suggestion.  For example, the narrator might say, "This is my family going through airport security."  Or "Here we are at the beach about to be devoured by a giant whale."
    Skills learned:  
    Physical control and creativity, beginning middle end, impulse control, physical expression, cooperation, spontaneity, appropriate physical contact with others.
 
  Pass the Story:  Participants:  5 students and a conductor.
The audience suggests a topic.  The 5 students must narrate a story by passing the story from person to person when the conductor points at them.  When the conductor stops pointing at them they must stop speaking mid-sentence or mid-word.  The conductor points to someone else and they must pick-up and continue the story mid-sentence or mid-word.  If any errors are made the story teller must "die" creatively based on audience suggestion.  "Creative death" examples:  death by paper cut, death by being licked to death by a puppy, death by blow dryer.  Eventually one person remains, the winner.
    Skills learned: 
    Concentration, following narrative, building on narrative, spontaneity, impulse control, flexibility.
 
  
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