Friday, April 16, 2010


The T.H.A.T. Program will be running Movement and Music classes for children ages 6-12 with autism on Saturdays from 10:30-11:30am at 939 8th Ave at 55th Saturdays. Groups will be small – only 6 to 8 students. For information, contact Michael A. Pizzi, PhD at Dr. Pizzi is the founder of Touching Humanity, Inc. ("THI"), the non-profit offering these exciting new classes.

The T.H.A.T. Program is a new program focusing on the use of the performing arts with people on the autism spectrum. Their acting and movement classes include programs that introduce your child to warm-ups, improv games, character building exercises and scene study. This interactive, non-competitive program is structured so the students work with each other to build confidence and self-esteem.

The arts, particularly the performing arts, assist in the development of the child in emotional, physical, social, intellectual and psychological areas. The arts programs are non-competitive and focus on developmental and personal growth. Whether on a one to one basis for the more impaired child or within a group setting, arts programming can

(1) assist in social skill building and teach appropriate interactions with others;

(2) engage children in self expression through a non-threatening medium;

(3) improve abilities such as
Skills for Expressing Feelings, Social Relationship Skills, Organizational Skills, Decision Making, Problem Solving Skills and Conflict Management Skills;
(4) provide an outlet for creativity, joy and hope;

(5) engage children in developing collaboration and sharing;

(6) increase and improve self-esteem

THI is a non-profit organization committed to promoting disability awareness and social justice through the arts and education. The basic mission of THI is to develop programs that serve the artistic and expressive needs of children and adults with disabilities; create new and adapt previously performed works that are disability themed; create opportunities for actors with disabilities; and to educate through the arts, symposia, festivals and conferences.

T.H.A.T. Program was developed by Dr. Pizzi, who is both an occupational therapist and a performing artist to provide artistic outlets for children and adults with special needs.

All classes are co-developed with Dr. Pizzi and overseen by him. The instructors have backgrounds in the performing arts, special education, ABA method, occupational therapy and prior work with children with disabilities.

The NAA New York Metro chapter does not endorse any treatment, therapy, diet, protocol, nor any provider, individual or group. Any information provided at NAA-NYM presentations, meetings, on our website, or on our blog is provided for informational purposes only. Parents must of course make their own decisions concerning any treatment, therapy or provider. NAA-NYM recommends that families consult with an experienced doctor or other professional before commencing treatments or therapies for their children.

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