SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Improv can be daunting for anyone, but the skills learned by doing it can be invaluable -- especially for people with autism.
A bi-weekly improv class designed especially for people who are on the autism spectrum is helping both children and adults hone their social and communication skills.
"We call it our improv social group," Kristy Seltzr, who teaches the class and whose daughter Lizzie has autism, said during a class on World Autism Awareness Day. "We run improvisation games and exercises that are geared toward allowing the participants to be in a safe environment where they can be themselves. They can be funny and goofy."
Many of the participants said the classes have helped break them out of their shell.
"Improv is a lot of thinking on your feet," Seltzr explained, "Which is, you know, what you might do on the street if you meet someone, or if you're in the store and you have to have a spur of the moment conversation."
Student Bradley Margetts, 25, had a powerful message for people during National Autism Awareness month.
"Just because you're autistic doesn't mean that you're different," Margetts said. "Just because you're autistic doesn't mean you get to be made fun of, doesn't mean you get to be laughed at, doesn't mean you get to be left behind and treated like garbage."
"Just because you're different from that person who sits next to you doesn't mean you get to treat them like a sorry excuse," he continued. "Just because you have autism doesn't mean that you get to be alone."
The improv class is put on by Sacramento's Fly Brave Foundation. For more information visit their website here.
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