Mask As a Tool for Communication
Masks can be so much fun to wear but did you know that masks have been part of our culture since 7000 B.C. From the masks of Camaroon in Africa to the Aztec Xiuhtecuhtli in Latin America. Cultures all over the world have used masks for ritual purposes, a disguise for protection and a tool of entertainment. In India, Dr. Parasuram Ramamoorthi is reinventing masks through drama therapy to help build effective communication for those with autism. For someone on the autism spectrum who is extremely sensitive to sensory stimuli, it can be overwhelming and nerve racking to make eye contact with others. Dr. Ramamoorthi has uncovered the benefits of masks as a tool for effective communication with autism.
– A person is able to channel their attention on one object or person at a time, effectively cutting down the sensorial load visually.
– The focus shifts from your face to your body, allowing for alternate forms of expression like sounds and movement.
– The ability to understand and have alternative forms of expression builds empathy and insight into the strengths rather than the deficits of someone on the autism spectrum.
Source: Dr. Parasuram Ramamoorthi
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This post originally appeared on our November/December 2021 Magazine