The theater arts give children with special needs the opportunity to engage socially with peers while expressing their individuality. In inclusive theater programs, students participate in activities that can help them develop social skills such as eye contact, listening for cues when others are speaking, taking turns, staying on task and working as a team. Children learn and experience appropriate body language, improve their ability to follow directions, and develop their communication skills. Participating in a theater program can help build the self-esteem and confidence of children and teens with disabilities.
Local area inclusive theater programs include Tellin’ Tales Theatre in Chicago, Special Gifts Theatre (multiple locations including Winnetka, Glenview, and Chicago), and
Chicago Children’s Theatre Red Kite Project and Camp Red Kite.
Or, if you just want to introduce your child to the experience of attending a theater performance, the Seesaw Theatre at Northwestern University offers multi-sensory theatre experiences that accommodate audiences with special needs: