Why we love using drama in therapy
Drama is a fantastic tool that our therapists love to incorporate into their speech and occupational therapy sessions. Through theatre games, improv, acting out scripts and studying scenes, drama increases confidence and resilience in our clients as they learn how to ‘take up space’ and try new things in front of other people.
What are some of the benefits of drama?
- Drama gives kids the ability to be a character in a made-up world, creating a safe space for our clients to practice social skills, be silly and play out scenarios that might be challenging in everyday life.
- Drama is great for visual learners, giving them the opportunity to observe and model the language, behaviour and social skills shown by their therapist (no reading, writing needed)
- Drama gives kids the opportunity to gain feedback on these social skills in a less personal way as we are critiquing the character, not the client
- Drama has been shown to Improve auditory memory which helps kids become adept as listening to and following directions in real time
- Through their exploration of made-up worlds, drama helps our clients Increase their vocabulary range and helps them learn how to understand and express complex ideas. This may help improve articulation, loudness and naturalness in intonation of speech
- By watching and reacting to a scene in drama, kids can improve their ability to ‘tune in’ to their environment and gain an emotional understanding though the discussion content and characters’ reactions
- Drama has been shown to improve executive functioning- understanding of first, middle, last & past, present, future. Through drama, kids learn how to carry out steps in the correct order to complete a scene whilst still providing flexibility to changes in the way others are acting. This assists with problem solving skills through improvisation and co-operating together on the final production.
How do we incorporate drama into our sessions?
Each instruction in a drama scene is essentially a language task designed to help clients who are delayed in their vocabulary, expression and understanding of the world. These tasks help the client practice maintaining attention, using their memory and problem solving skills. In our drama sessions…
- The instruction is delivered by the teacher in a safe space where kids can feel comfortable about making mistakes
- We assess whether the way the information delivered by the client is appropriate – volume, tone, speed, vocabulary, length, repetition, gestures, visuals
- We make sure the client feels they can approach our therapists to clarify the information, giving them strategies to improve
- We give praise for all interactions and attempts while still giving specific constructive feedback