At the ICE (Innovation, Creativity, Enterprise) Awards Ceremony Nicki Shaughnessy and Melissa Trimingham won the award for the most innovative project for their Autism Project. The award was given for their autism project which uses drama, puppetry and play within a programme of interventions to facilitate communication and social interaction in children with difficulties in this area. The project has now been awarded a £429,000 AHRC Grant for further research in the area.
Their intention with the project was to ‘test the hypothesis that many aspects of autism can be ameliorated through participation in drama based activities, specifically live, interactive performance. There are three main impairments in autism each of which have a close relationship with drama: imagination, interaction and communication. We think that participating in a multi sensory, live and immersive drama environment can create an opening into the autistic child’s world.’