Stephen Volan Diagnosed with Aspergers at 37 Years Old Uses His Theatre Skills To Help With Social Skills

I woke up this morning with this great video clip in my inbox.  This is a great, here is a guy who was diagnosed with Aspergers at 37 years old! He had gone through his entire childhood, teens and early adulthood with probably thinking why am I different then everyone else?

What he has accomplished is nothing more than amazing, a city council member, a professor at Indiana University, a radio show host and a successful businessman. He describes his personal battle with Aspergers with incredible clarity. He explains to his audience that he is more comfortable speaking to a large  crowd then one on one.  Stage fright is a common feeling for anyone who is not used to being on stage. Public speaking is actually extremely scary for most everyone with or with out autism.  He says every day social situations make him feel that “stage fright” feeling.” He talks about several occasions where he would rather stay home all day then risk meeting someone new which would require social interaction.

The way he has overcome this is absolutely the best part of this clip.  He embraced the arts, actually comedy improvisation is what worked best for him. He learned all the nuances of improv and how you work with a partner.  He learned that you stay on topic when improvising, something all kids with autism have difficulty with.  Comedy is so social and this is what he used to help him navigate our very complicated social world.

I am definitely going to look for more theater activities for my kids with autism to participate in.

How do you think your kids with autism would do in a theater class?

Enjoy the clip


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