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Adapting a Show for Children With Autism - featured June 6, 2011

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[Source: NY Times]

When Lisa E. Cooney, director of education for the Paper Mill Playhouse, called a meeting last November to discuss the particulars of “Stone Soup and Other Stories,” a children’s show to be presented June 11, there was crying at the conference table.

The attendees moved to tears were two Maplewood mothers who had contacted Paper Mill, in Millburn, last spring about adapting a show for autistic children, said Ms. Cooney, 45, of Woodbridge.

“Just the idea that we were asking, ‘What can we do to help prepare your kids for this performance? How can we be helpful?’ meant so much to them that they got very emotional,” she said. “These are people who would love to bring their children out, but they hold back.”

Together with Linda Meyer, executive director of Autism New Jersey, which is based in Robbinsville, Ms. Cooney held the meeting to piece together a program to encourage children on the autism spectrum, or with developmental disabilities, to go see live theater in a nonjudgmental environment.

Read the Rest of this Article in the NY Times

Tags: News of the Week Autism Newsletter 6 June 2011