March 15, 2017

CC BY-NC by Indiana Public Media

Bennington, Vermont – An autism awareness scheme in Vermont schools is using a puppet theatre to educate children about the condition.

The not-for-profit organisation based in Burlington, present their “friend 2 friend” show in local schools. The workshops are funded by the agency of education to help younger children understand differences between themselves and their peers.

Children learn the golden rules, or seven friendship tips during the workshops including using shorter sentences, being patient, friendly and observant and most importantly accepting differences.

Speaking to the Bennington Banner,  puppeteer Deb Lyons said:

“We always hear back from teachers who say the tips are useful in the classroom because they can be used all the time and with everybody.”

Children are given the opportunity to discuss openly the relationships between the puppets, and what they have taken away with them after watching the shows. Teachers are also given information packs to reinforce the education after the puppet crew have left.

Schools report that the show is having a fantastic positive effect on the children, and the show is available to schools through out the Vermont area, and the autism awareness programme is one of 23 other programmes offered to Vermont schools.

For more information about the programme and the puppet show, click here.

About the author 

Shân Ellis

Shân Ellis, is a qualified journalist with five years experience of writing features, blogging and working on a regional newspaper. Prior to working as a journalist, she was a ghost writer for top publishers and was closely involved in the editing and development of book series. Shân has a degree in the sciences, and 5 A levels. She lives in the UK and is the mother of an autistic child.

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