The annual ‘Art for Autism’ festival-2014 will bring in new ideas and therapies to address the issues of autistic children

The sixth edition of the annual ‘Art for Autism’ festival organized by Velvi trust will feature new ideas and therapies to handle and care for autistic people. Apart from cultural programmes, dance and music shows, drama performances, drawing and painting and other creative activities, the festival this time round will see the participation of counsellors, physicians and therapists from Netherlands, Australia and other parts of India.

An informal music group of autistic people from Delhi will present their songs to inspire others to take up to music like them. “We have been training autistic children in drama and now we have our own theatre group. This year, we plan to train them in stand-up comedy,’ says Dr. Parasuram Ramamoorthi, Chairman of Velvi trust. “All over the world, there are hardly five or six autistic people who do stand-up comedy. There is scope for these children to enter TV comedy shows if they get trained.”

There will also be a pre-festival workshop for teachers, special educators, physiotherapists and mentors on how to handle people with autistic disorders. “We are also introducing Re-Attach therapy which will help autism affected people to understand the gestures, mannerisms and expressions of other people,” says Parasuram, who will present workshops on Drama for Autism.

The Re-Attach therapy will be administered by Paula Batholomeuz of Netherlands and ‘Clowning as medicine’ by Naree Shileds of Australia will be a special workshop on stand-up comedy. Ms. Shaloo Sharma, Head of Gurgaon-based Pallavanjali, a centre for special needs, will facilitate Arts Therapy. Ms. Zill Botadkar of Mumbai Light House will facilitate Movement Therapy. Ms. Kavita Kumar of New Delhi will facilitate Music Therapy. Ms. Indu Venugopal, a grooming and Image building specialist will run workshops for teens and adults.

The festival will take place at Pillar Hall, Nagamalai Pudukottai from January 16 to 19, 2014. Willing participants may write to parasuram.ramamoorthi@gmail.com and register themselves before December 25, 2013. For further details, contact: 0452 2384479