It’s such a special thing to be able not only to spend time with a participant, but also their family. Playing with Haneef and Batool is obviously a total joy, but also tells us something really intriguing about the presence of a neurotypical sibling alongside a participant on the spectrum. The experience of collectively playing is good for any person, and in this time of separation and isolation, seeing the ability of this work to connect people is humbling and emotional.
I’ve found the Zoom sessions with Haneef to be fascinating because of the way we have literally been able to zoom in and to see how we can be most useful on each day. Some sessions have only consisted of heartbeats, or one or two of the games, and yet these tightly focused sessions are when I feel we have seen the most growth. It’s also reiterated to me just how much we are learning from every single person we play with. Haneef has influenced the shape of a game just through a particular motion of his hand, or by throwing himself onto his sofa, and we have found ourselves changing our movements in response. It’s such an amazing reminder that this work is never fixed, and is always able to grow if we just let ourselves listen and stay open.
-Oliver McLellan, Actor-
The best part about Haneef was that we changed games everyday, to adapt to how he was feeling on the particular day. One day, while playing the copying game, Haneef just got hooked on to the game. While Holly was singing, all the flute actors were copying Haneef, it felt like an actual trance state where we all were calm and were at peace.
-Mohit Mathur, Actor-