"At first I didn't think it was for me. I thought that it was just going to be hectic. I don't mean that there would be a lot of people, but the antics of the other kids. But, I was shocked. Overall it was mostly tame. The more 'active' autistic children were soothed and were able to continue to enjoy the sessions.
"I thought I was going to be undermined by the supervisors because I am autistic, however, I was treated like an equal.
"The sessions helped me to be able to understand that there are different types of autism and to make new friends.
"My experiences in Songlines will stay with me. I felt comfortable and at home. I liked the creative and artistic aspects and enjoyed meeting up with people every week, it didn't feel like a drag. Through Songlines I was able to make a new set of friends. They supported me and were people I could turn to. I made a good friend who I see regularly. I can see we can be friends for life.
"I don't feel as lonely now. I feel surrounded by people whom I trust and respect."
For the past five years, we've been working with The Royal Exchange Theatre to deliver Songlines, a special opportunity for young people aged 10-14 with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and their non-autistic peers to explore their creative side and develop skills in music, drama and teamwork.
—Our work uniquely brings together young people with Autistic Spectrum Condition and their non-autistic peers
—Careful planning and groundwork ensures the two groups are quick to assimilate
—Research shows improved self-confidence, teamwork and parent/child relationships
—Close friendships have developed between the two groups, with children socialising outside the sessions
If you're keen to know more or would like to support our work, please contact Lucy Geddes on:
T: 0161 226 8696