In 2020, Anna got together with the folks at Youth Theatre Ireland and AsIAm (Ireland’s national Autism charity) to produce ‘A Handbook for Youth Theatre Facilitators; Supporting Young People on the Autism Spectrum’, a resource developed specifically to arm youth theatre leaders with the information and strategies they need to confidently manage classes and projects that include young people on the autistic spectrum, created with the help of Creative Ireland.
Youth Theatre Ireland roots the ethos of their organisation in the belief that inclusion lies at the heart of good youth theatre practice, and with this resource, they hope to help youth theatre guides challenge some of the myths and misconceptions about autism by focusing on youth theatre best practice strategies based on feedback from Kilkenny Youth Theatre members and the wisdom and expertise of Anna herself.
“I think of all young people I have worked with over nearly 40 years,” she says, “each one unique, each one containing a world of potential, of creativity. There is no ‘typical’, ‘atypical’, ‘neurodiverse’ – there is only ‘us’, becoming stronger because we celebrate and include all.”
Read more about ‘Supporting Young People on the Autism Spectrum’ and download the handbook here.