• Vincent Beaume
  • Vincent Beaume
  • Vincent Beaume

Opening Out

Opening Out is a programme of work that gives children with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) access to magical, memorable and moving experiences that they would not otherwise encounter.

The programme places specially trained artists into special schools and centres. Here they work intimately with children with an ASD, helping participants explore their creativity and engage with the world around them in a new way.

Artists and children are brought together in a familiar setting and participants are introduced to elements of performance. Teachers and specialist staff, as well as the artists, create a safe environment for participants and share the tools, resources and practises that help engage the children. This skill-sharing creates a lasting legacy for the programme in each hosting school, and influences the work of the artists beyond the project.

In 2013-14 Opening Out engaged 60 children in four creative residencies across the UK – the results exceeded even our own expectations.

Their participation has a lasting impact – the programme has seen elective mutes choose to speak; children who never make eye contact find they can fix their focus and children who find it difficult to settle become completely engrossed.

Now we aim to increase these positive outcomes and offer residencies to more schools and reach more children.


    “The different workshops have really enabled the young people to interact, because autistic children tend to isolate themselves, and relationships with others are very complicated, but here, the activities which you provide enable these skills to be put into action.”


    “The workshops helped my group to come out of their shell, and experience news means of self-expression in a safe and encouraging environment”


    “They were having to complete exercises together, in groups, quietly and sometimes without talking at all and it was good for them to learn how to use different means of communication calmly and non-verbally.”

    Teachers and staff involved in Dormez-vous? 2013-14


    “I liked everything, everything. It is calm and good.”


    (choosing words on the blackboard) “Happy, great, exciting, fun, beautiful”


    From Dormez-vous?  an Opening Out residency in 2013-14