ITV Meridian covers autism project at Folkestone school

An innovative play-based approach to working with autistic children, pioneered at the University in a collaboration between the disciplines of drama and psychology, has received ITV Meridian coverage.

A week-long residency at The Beacon, Folkestone culminated in an Imagining Autism Family Day on Saturday 3 November.

ITV Meridian cameras were there to record as the University’s project team worked with The Beacon to train Imagining Autism Champions for schools in Shepway. The broadcast was featured in the channel’s main 6pm news programme on 8 November.

The Imagining Autism project uses drama, puppetry, light, sound and interactive media to engage participants in a themed, multi-sensory environment, created within a special tent known as the ‘Pod’.

In the Pod, children traveled in a spaceship to an outer-space environment, with trained practitioners and Imagining Autism Champions, helped by friendly Alien Puppets and Charlie the Robot .

The Family Day, encouraged the children to play together with a parent in the intriguing, immersive and visually stunning setting of an unknown planet.

The residency was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Big Lottery Fund, Kent County Council, The Beacon and Shepway Autism Support Group.

See ‘In the media’ (right) for selected coverage.