14th Annual Goldstick Family Lecture in the Study of Communication Disorders

Speaker: Dr. Krista Wilkinson

"Supporting Social and Communication Goals for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Through the Performing Arts"

Music, dance, improvisation, and other creative arts have long been recognized as contexts for teaching important social and communication skills for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, music and other performance arts are effective contexts for supporting instruction because the very structure of these activities supports verbal and nonverbal communication, and because these activities are often simple, fun, and naturally motivating.

In this presentation, Dr. Krista Wilkinson will share her experiences leading two performance groups designed for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She will talk about the Changed for the Better: For Good performance troupe, which she has directed for seven years, as well as the Performing Together course at Pennsylvania State University, which she has led for two years with a colleague.

Throughout the talk, Dr. Wilkinson will discuss how performance promotes friendships, social engagement, leadership, and other important social and communication goals; share videos of these outcomes from her troupes; and discuss tips and resources for initiating a successful local performance troupe.

Contact: Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky at 217-333-0260 or