In 2016, Empower began offering theater workshops to improve social skills in children, ages 7 to 15, who have autism spectrum disorder. Students have the option of registering with a sibling or friend. Preference is given to Niagara County residents.
Autism services coordinator, Robin Stevens, meets with students and their families to get to know them and to determine program goals based on needs and interests. This information is used to customize lessons and measure program effectiveness.
Over the course of 10 weeks, acting instructor, Brianna Lanoye, leads students through group and individual exercises focusing on gestures, eye contact, voice projection, leadership, listening to each others’ perspectives and improvisational skills.
Students showcase their hard work in a final performance attended by family and friends.