Drama class makes the world a less scary place

Being a high-school teacher is challenging. Students are in the midst of discovering themselves, developing relationships, and of course, learning how to balance their time between work and play.

For Nadine Leach this is even more challenging – she teaches classes made up entirely of students suffering from Autism Disorders. These students are different from others as the autistic mind processes information in a unique way.

Who is Nadine Leach?

auntie profileNadine Leach is a teacher at Robert Bateman High School in Burlington, Ontario. She has had the job for 31 years and began and an English teacher. About 10 years later she began teaching special education and then obtained her specialization to teach Drama. Two years ago the Halton District School Board began funding a pilot project – a drama class for autistic students. Nadine is the only teacher in this pilot program.

What are Autism Disorders?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to the degree and severity of Autism Disorders. The most common of which are Autism Disorder and Asperger’s Disorder. A person on the autism spectrum will suffer from any number of psychological, behavioural and physical symptoms. Autistic students are different from a typical high-school student as the autistic mind processes information in a unique way.

The possible strengths and weaknesses of an autistic mind.

The possible strengths and weaknesses of an autistic mind.

Classroom Life

So what is the classroom environment like with such a diverse range of students, all with their own psychological needs?

In her ASD Drama class Nadine has students, male and female, ranging from 13 to 20 years old. Her students are all suffering from either Asperger’s Disorder or Autistic Disorder. Life in Nadine’s ASD drama class can be chaotic.

Dramatic Therapy

Even with such a hectic classroom Nadine believes that teaching drama to ASD students is beneficial to them. Drama helps ASD students understand the world around them and to safely express their emotions.

Why teach drama to ASD students?

At The End Of It All

Spending the day teaching such energetic students who need a high-level of supervision can be tiring. At the end of the day Nadine is tired and exhausted, but managed to relax enough to face tomorrow.

Nadine Leach faces many challenges in teaching ASD students, but to her it is worthwhile. She said the students come out will skills and friendships they would not have otherwise. Nadine is helping to change the lives of her students and make the world a less scary place for them.

– Kelly Fram

Image | This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s