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How circus training can enhance the well-being of austitic children and their families

Auteurs : Seymour, Kristy Danialle (Auteur)

Lieu de publication : Nathan (Australie)

Éditeur : Griffith Unviersity

Date de publication : 2012

Université : Griffith University

Programme d'étude : Arts

Cycle d'étude : Maîtrise

Langue : Anglais

Description : 65 p. ; 28 cm.

Notes : School of Humanities Griffith University submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts and Media with Honours

Sujets :
Cirque social
Arts du cirque - Emploi en thérapeutique
Enfants autistes
Enfants handicapés mentaux - Relations familiales
Enfants handicapés - Australie
Bénéfices des arts du cirque chez les jeunes
Créativité (Éducation)

Dépouillement du document :

Circus values and value of circus for children with autism
Aims of the project
Methodology, Literature and Organisation
Identity, difference and belonging

One: Autism Affects the Entire Family Unit
Sharing stories
Diagnosis: the labels we place upon bodies
Discourses, relationships and feelings

Two: Creative Chaos
Controlled chaos in the circus arts
Autism and chaos/chaosmos

Three: Philosophy and Social Circus
Inventing Social Circus
A philosophy of play: autistic children and circus
“Whatever being”: quirkiness, singularity and community
Social circus in practice

Four: A Community of Outsiders
Trust and community
Difference, creativity and community

Five: Therapeutic Benefits
Therapeutically speaking...
What can bodies do?
Social Circus as physical therapy... at a glance

Six: Changing How We See Ourselves and Each Other
Being-within an outside
Coming together in the circus family
Respite in a community of difference


Résumé :
This project is concerned with how circus training can benefit children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and, in turn, their families. Many “special needs” children spend a great deal of time in physiotherapy, speech therapy, osteopathic therapy, occupational therapy and behavioural therapy. The thesis explores how circus can open up a new world to such children, enabling them to take risks, physically and emotionally; to stretch the capacities of their bodies in an environment that enriches their social development. Not only do they gain in strength, coordination and physical awareness, they can also gain confidence, opportunities for creative expression and a sense of “fitting in”.

For the parents and siblings of children with autism, circus training sessions provide respite and a chance to enjoy seeing their family member becoming involved with other children and achieving things that might not have seemed within their capabilities. There are frequently flow-on effects through improvements in autistic children’s skills and behaviours in daily life. Families can also become part of the “circus family” – sharing a sense of community with other families who understand the challenges that accompany life with an autistic child: a sense of isolation in the wider community, the frustrations, embarrassments and feelings of being judged. In the circus community, parents never need to apologise for their child in the same breath as introducing themselves.

The project draws on observations from my work as a circus performer and trainer; focused interviews with several physiotherapists, occupational therapists and circus trainers; literature relating to youth and social circus, and autism; and theoretical work on creativity, embodiment, difference, identity, belonging and changing notions of community, particularly from Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Agamben and Probyn.

I set out to demonstrate the practical value of circus to children with special needs and their families; that the environment of creative chaos developed in circus is particularly beneficial for children with autism; that the practice philosophy of circus values both difference and inclusivity, helping to build community; that philosophy and cultural theory can provide insights into how circus “works” for autistic children and their families; and that participation in circus can change how people understand the world and each other. My aim as a circus professional is to encourage us all to re-think how we approach physical therapy for children with special needs and to provide some theoretical frameworks that support the exceptional work of youth circus schools around Australia. [author summary]

Collection : Bibliothèque de l'École nationale de cirque

Localisation : Bibliothèque

Cote : 615.851 560 87 S5211h 2012

  • Ex. 1 — disponible


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