Welcome to the home of Camp Yes And!

At Camp Yes And, teens with autism and educators learn improv as a way to develop social communication skills and transform teaching and learning. Sponsored by the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University, the camp is designed to support verbal teens (ages 13-18) on the autism spectrum, or those with a similar diagnosis, who would benefit from support around building social communication skills. Camp also is a free professional learning opportunity for teachers -- including para-educators, mentors, supervisors, etc. -- of any discipline working in K-12 public or private, university, and/or community-based settings (e.g. arts or social services organizations).

A quick overview of camp

This video was taken at Camp Yes And 2015 by Kat Carlton of the Herald Times.

An in-depth look at camp

Do you remember watching Drew Carey and his buddies make up characters, scenes and songs on the TV show, “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Improv is a lot of fun, but it also is a highly refined system of observing, connecting, and responding that has one major rule: Yes, and. At its heart, improv is about group agreement and support – saying yes to each other and building something new together.

The Center on Education and Lifelong Learning and the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University sponsor Camp Yes And —an improv summer camp for teens on the autism spectrum and teachers. During each morning of camp, teachers learn the techniques of improv and their application to supporting youth on the spectrum. Each afternoon, teachers and camp leaders co-facilitate an improv camp for teens on the spectrum.

To learn more, download the 2015 final report to our generous funder, Answers for Autism

Our camp instructors

Jim Ansaldo, PhD designed the overall framework of Camp Yes And. Jim is a Research Scholar at the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University Bloomington. He has facilitated school change and teacher professional development for 15 years. He has performed and taught improv comedy for 25 years; currently, he performs with CSz Indianapolis. In recent years, Jim has focused on applied improvisation -- using the skills and techniques of improv to support professionals in business, educational, and therapeutic settings.

Lacy Alana, LCSW designed the camp curriculum. Lacy is the Special Needs Program Director at the Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas. In addition to being an improv performer and instructor, she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and has focused her career on working with at-risk youth and youth on the spectrum.  Over the past three years, Lacy has piloted a successful program at the Hideout that has provided improv classes to teens and pre-teens on the autism spectrum.