ACTING ANTICS is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to providing socialization opportunities through theatre and music to those with a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum and other social cognition needs.
In January 2007, Cindy Schneider (Director) opened the doors to the Acting Antics Art Center and ever since has been providing music and theater programming for youngsters of all ages and ability levels. Schneider's book, Acting Antics: A Theatrical Approach to Teaching Social Understanding to Kids and Teens with Asperger Syndrome was also published that year.
Acting Antics didn't happen overnight. The program was born of professional insight, observation, experimentation, and most importantly passion.
Cindy Schneider was a special educator for twenty years at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, teaching many children with diagnoses that fell under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorders. In 2000, she was recruited by the organization, along with a speech and language clinician and an occupational therapist, to establish an "Autism Support Team" that would offer training and support to Chester County teachers regarding Autism and Asperger Syndrome. For seven years this team became leading specialists in the area, and the services offered were requested far and wide. By the time Cindy retired in 2007, the team had more than doubled in size and was flourishing.
An avid thespian ever since childhood, Cindy acted and directed, and was at the helm of a local community theater and children's theater program for twenty years. In 2000 she began experimenting with offering theater workshops for children on the autism spectrum. The response was so positive that she began to build a program for these children over the next several years.
In 2005 Cindy began to write a book about her techniques, and in January of 2007 Jessica Kingsley Publishing released Acting Antics, complete with a forward written by Dr. Tony Attwood. This book is a practical guide on how to make use of theater games and techniques for youth on the spectrum.