Sowmya Maheswaran

Mask for Autism

Abstract

‘Mask’ has always been an important and defining part of Drama! It helped the characters to make a mark and name for their roles, and also served the purpose of making a non-personal connection with the audience, co-actors and the dramatic environment.
When ‘mask’ was introduced to the people under the Spectrum, it became a tool for them to perform and interact with a safe veil that suited the dramatic environment. This safe veil now forced the actors under the spectrum to maintain eye contact in order to move and interact. Therefore increasing the percentage of eye contact made and also the attention span.
It is also observed that the process of making a mask or a face mask and trying on a mask made of different materials increase fine motor skills, serves as sensory diet and develops inter/intra personal communication.

Keywords: Eye Contact, Attention Span, Fine Motor Skills, Social Skills

Biography

  • Theatre Actor and Director
  • Believer of bringing in positive waves in Education and Brain Development through Theatre Arts
  • Practitioner of Drama for persons under the Spectrum

References

  • Contributed ‘Mime for Autism’ paper for Velvi Drama For Autism Curriculum, Tutor and Facilitator at Velvi for Autism, India
  • Certified Trinity College of London Speech and Drama Trainer, India
  • School Assessor and Teacher Trainer at Adhyayan Asia, India
  • UNICEF researcher for Child Health and Malnutrinition, Rajasthan division, India
  • Co-Founder – Nishumbita Ballet & Theatre Group, Hyderabad, India