Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FREE performing arts classes for Youth (9 - 18) with Aspergers

(T.H.A.T. Program)
Classes for children with Asperger’s forming for
Feb, 2011
Developed by Dr. Michael A. Pizzi
Occupational therapist and actor

Classes are being formed for children with Asperger’s aged 9-18, focusing on the use of the performing arts to enable participation, increase self esteem and develop social skills. Our acting and movement classes include programs that introduce your child to warm-ups, improv games, character building exercises and scene study. This interactive, non-competitive program is structured so the students work with each other to build social confidence.
The arts, particularly the performing arts, assist in the development of the child in emotional, physical, social, intellectual and psychological areas.  The arts programs are non-competitive and focus on developmental and personal growth.  Whether on a one to one basis or within a group setting, arts programming can
(1) assist in social skill building and teach appropriate interactions with others;
(2) engage children in self expression through a non-threatening medium;
(3) improves abilities such as Skills for Expressing Feelings, Social Relationship Skills, Organizational Skills, Decision Making, Problem Solving Skills and Conflict Management Skills;
(4) provides an outlet for creativity, joy and hope;
(5) engages children in developing collaboration and sharing;
(6) increase and improve self-esteem
Touching Humanity, Inc. (THI)  ( is a non-profit organization committed to promoting disability awareness and social and occupational justice through the arts and education.  The basic mission of THI is to develop programs that serve the artistic and expressive needs of children and adults with disabilities; create new and adapt previously performed works that are disability themed; create opportunities for actors with disabilities; and to educate through the arts, symposia, festivals and conferences.
The overall mission is to build an environment of inclusiveness, enabling those with disabilities to participate, and those without disabilities to be educated. 
T.H.A.T Workshop was developed by Michael A. Pizzi, PhD, an occupational therapist, performing artist, and Founder of THI.  It’s development arose from the need to provide artistic outlets for children and adults with special needs.  Provision of opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in the arts promotes occupational justice (the rights of individuals to engage in productive and meaningful activity), social justice (the rights of people to be treated fairly and equitably), and avenues for creative and artistic expression  
All classes are co-developed with Dr. Pizzi and overseen by him.  The instructors have backgrounds in the performing arts, special education, ABA method, occupational therapy and prior work with children with disabilities.
·      To increase students social confidence and awareness
·      To develop creativity
·      To increase self esteem and self confidence
·      To facilitate individual expression as well as instill a sense of teamwork
·      To create a sense of goal achievement
·      To develop engagement in meaningful activity
Other objectives that can be realized through this program:
·      Invite imagination
·      Promote social interactions
·      Develop communication skills
·      Improve memorization skills
·      Increase vocal skills
·      Develop sensory skills
·      Improve patterns of movement and sequencing
·      Promote emotional expression
·      Have fun !
Length of sessions:  We will offer 8 week one hour weekend classes beginning mid Feb, 2011 ending with a grand performance
Cost:  FREE
Location:  Rehearsal studio midtown NYC
Our autism and creative, expressive and performing arts programming also include:
·      private classes for individuals
·      all day intensive creative and performing arts workshops
·      siblings workshops
·      Parent/caregiver creative arts workshop
Please email us about your interest.
Contact with questions or to register:
Dr. Michael A. Pizzi       347-385-4207 or
Our motto:  Given opportunity, always able

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