Acting class helps kids improve emotional, social skills

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Each week, dozens of kids and their families gather at Theatre Cedar Rapids for a special acting class.

The "Just Right for Me" program started in 2012 as an acting class tailored specifically for students on the autism spectrum.

Each session runs six to eight weeks, and each Saturday during the session, the kids play acting games and learn new skills for the stage. At the end, they put on a showcase for friends and family.

But it's not just acting skills the kids are gaining. Instructors said it also helps them with their social skills and with how they express their emotions.

Tara Dutcher, a Coralville mom, said her 11-year-old son, Atticus, has been through different forms of therapy, but she has seen the most growth in him from this program.

"He also sees himself in the autism community as a fully valuable and functioning member than he in the past, and he really owns that part of himself and is really proud of the friends that he has in this class," Dutcher said.

Just Right for Me holds different sessions throughout the year. The next one begins in April.