Abigail Barragry

Autism Arts Level 2


A drama syllabus for children on the autism spectrum

Autism Arts Level 2 is a drama therapy syllabus for medium functioning autistic children and young people, designed to be used over the course of one year.



Autism Arts Level 2 addresses the fact that creative arts and drama-therapy are increasingly used to help people with special educational needs to explore, reflect and develop when linguistic ability or intellectual functioning restricts their self-expression.

The Autism Arts Level 2 drama syllabus is for use by facilitators with and without drama experience, encourages children on the autistic spectrum to learn, interact and develop. Through storytelling, group activities and arts and crafts, students can improve their social skills, self-expression, vocal and physical skills, and imagination.

During the course, children are encouraged to take part in fun and imaginative activities, including singing, dancing, making sock puppets, and acting in the interactive stories Sandy’s Jungle Adventure and The Land of Smilealot!

The Autism Arts Level 2 syllabus covers three levels, from low to high functioning. Each is level is one year long and comprises three terms with 12 lessons per term. Level 2 focuses on the voice and imagination. The content is aimed at children and young people from five to fifteen.

Includes CD-rom with supplementary material.

Abigail Barragry’s wonderful new drama syllabus for children on the autism spectrum offers a three tier course that is easily accessible by both newcomers to the field and also experienced practitioners. At its heart is a belief that drama can be a powerful tool for teaching and learning, even in connection with this very challenging group of children. The courses takes Sue Jennings’ embodiment-projection-role paradigm as one of its underpinning themes, and challenges us to move away from ‘contain and train’ approach to working with autistic children. The documentation is packed with easily accessible practical exercises, which are strongly supported with tips for trainers. I shall be dipping into these materials for many years to come.

Professor Fraser Brown PhD, Playwork Team, Leeds Metropolitan University 


The additional two manuals make up a drama syllabus to help children on the autism spectrum develop their communication skills, life skills and self-confidence.

Autism Arts Level 1: low functioning autistic children and young people.

Autism Arts Level 3: High functioning autistic children and young people


Autism Arts Level 2: A drama syllabus for children on the autism spectrum is aimed at those working with medium functioning children and young people on the autism spectrum; teachers and trainers running groups for young people with autism; SEN and mainstream schools.


ISBN: 9781909810372
Publication: 01 November 2013
About the author
Foreword by Dr Sue Jennings
Level 1,Term 1: Feelings
Term 2: Animals
Term 3: Fairy tales.


Abigail Barragry has worked around the world using the arts as a tool to teach, empower and bring groups together. She has spent extensive time in Malaysia where she pioneered the use of drama in education and for psychosocial development. Abigail has given numerous presentations on the benefits of creativity and expression in mental health, and conducted extensive research on this area at the University of Malaya.

Abigail has been doing drama with children and young people for many years to target specific barriers faced by individuals and groups. In particular, she has created programmes for children on the autistic spectrum, those with Down’s syndrome and those who have not had the same positive start in life as their peers.

As director of a performing arts enrichment centre, Abigail has spent considerable time fine-tuning programmes, training teachers and closely monitoring international developments in the field. As drama specialist for the National Autism Society of Malaysia, she created their official three-year drama programme.


  1. Ioana Serb

    With Level 2 of Autism Arts, Abigail Barragry opens widely the world of imagination to the children on the autistic spectrum. The book proposes a structured programme and exercises that stimulate the children to explore feelings, brilliantly encouraging both recognizing and expressing them. Continuing level 1, level 2 progresses into a higher level of self-awareness and awareness of others.Step by step, the book paves the way towards learning empathy in children on the autistic spectrum. Stories are used as containers, structured frameworks and opportunities to stimulate cognition (comprehension, sequencing, memory), communication (listening, expression, group work), imagination and creativity. I particularly appreciated the gradual progression into the world of imagination, from the concrete world to the fairy tales, and the brilliant use of Sue Jennings’ embodiment-projection-role paradigm for exploring the world of feelings. Anyone who works in this area will definitely appreciate this book and its balance.

  2. Jenelle Mazaris

    This book is a valuable resource for both students and practicing drama therapists and drama educators. It is full of creative ways to incorporate storytelling into sessions and Ms.Barragry supplies the reader with numerous innovative and practical ways to dramatize the story. I will happily recommend this book to colleagues and my students. Jenelle Mazaris, Registered Drama therapist, trainer/supervisor for the Romanian Association of Play therapy and drama therapy.

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