Why mythology and autism?

Why mythology and autism?

The idea for this project started to take shape at a meeting in 2008 with a special needs teacher, who mentioned that, in her experience and those of her colleagues, autistic children often enjoy classical myth. I began to wonder why this might be the case, and whether – as a classicist who researches, and loves, classical myth – there was anything I could contribute. I started this blog to report on my progress which was often sporadic until the launch of the Warsaw-based European Research Council-funded project Our Mythical Childhood (2016-21) to trace the role of classics in children’s culture. My key contribution to the project is an exploration of classics in autistic children’s culture, above all by producing myth-themed activities for autistic children. This blog shares my progress, often along Herculean paths.

March-April 2020

Here is what I am planning to do over several postings this Spring – to straddle Autism Awareness Week in late March and early April. Lately, I have been overhauling my chapter for Mythical Hope, the first of the books from the ERC-funded Our Mythical Childhood project. It was presenting Hope-themed material in the autumn of 2019 that got me to look in new ways at what I had previously written. Here I put my project again under an aegis of Hope, and I’d welcome feedback!



Friday, 20 March 2020

From Mythology and Education to Special and Inclusive Teaching


This posting gives a quick update on what I’ve been doing in relation to autism and classical myth since the past posting – and I’ll say some things, too, about what I’m in the near future. The Mythology and Education conference at Cambridge, the topic of the previous posting, was wonderful – and soon I shall write up notes including the feedback I received from participants, not least on the possible fit between what I’m doing and Social Stories. For now, here are some photos including of some of the colouring in produced during the day.
Presenting the conference poster with Nanci Santos (left) and Robin Diver (right).
See also, above, the poster for the Network ACCLAIM: Autism Connecting CLAssically Inspired Myth
Getting going talking about the project
Keeping going while people begin colouring in...

As the note at the bottom says - and as I mentioned during the presentation -
I'll be writing a book on the activities, due for completing by the end of this year

Making Choices: brilliant! By Sarah Hardstaff

The next presentation that I had been due to give was to CIRSIE: the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Special and Inclusive Education at Roehampton. And I had been looking forward to the prospect of finding out what students, academics and teachers in Special and Inclusive Education thought about the activities. The event has been cancelled - or hopefully postponed – now that the University has stopped all face-to-face activities for the foreseeable future. And likewise the other events I was due to speak at this year have all also been put on hold or called off. However, one thing that I will be doing, at the end of this month, is to deliver a session for an undergraduate module on Special and Inclusive Teaching at Roehampton. My colleague Emily Rotchell asked me if I would do this earlier in the week and I didn’t hesitate to say yes. To date, Emily has added this blog address to the resources for the session – a session doubly out of my comfort zone – in terms of discipline and because I’ll be designing it for remote learning. If any of the students are reading this posting: hello! More from me soon!

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