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The Second City Training Center to Bring 'Improv for Autism' Classes to the Suburbs


The Second City Training Center to Bring 'Improv for Autism' Classes to the Suburbs

The Second City Training Center (SCTC), the world's largest school of improvisation and part of Chicago's legendary comedy institution, The Second City, will bring its groundbreaking Improv for Autism classes to the Western suburbs.

Beginning Saturday, January 13th, the SCTC's Wellness Program workshops will be offered at Giant Steps school in Lisle, IL. Giant Steps, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a specialized, therapeutic day school for children and young adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Improv for Autism has been successfully running at The Second City Training Center in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood since 2014, serving both teens and adults.

"The early research in this area has shown that improvisation has a discernible positive effect in improving communication and prosocial behaviors in individuals with autism. We are thrilled to partner with Giant Steps so that we can collectively help more kids, parents, teachers and friends in this wonderful community," said Kelly Leonard, Executive Director of Insights & Applied Improvisation for The Second City.

The classes at Giant Steps school will be held each Saturday at 2:00 p.m., for eight weeks. Each class session is 90 minutes long. Classes are open to students, ages 14-18, with a primary diagnosis of autism. The cost for registration at is $295 per student.

"It's an incredible opportunity for Giant Steps and Second City Training Center to partner together in order to bring the benefits of Improv for Autism to a much broader audience in the Chicagoland suburbs," said Giant Steps Instructional Design & Communications Manager, Greg Lawrence. "We are always looking for ways to expand and enhance our services and supports beyond our walls in order to benefit the larger ASD community, and Improv for Autism is a perfect fit."

"Our campus is near many major roadways, which can be incredibly important to those with ASD who aren't able to make long journeys in a car," Lawrence added.

Seats are limited and will filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for classes, visit

Part of the iconic comedy empire The Second City, The Second City Training Center is the foremost school of improvisation-based arts in the world, offering classes for kids through seniors at every experience level. Currently enrolling more than 11,000 students annually at its facilities in Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles and online, the faculty is composed of working professionals in their areas of expertise and alums of The Second City. Home of the Comedy Studies Program in conjunction with Columbia College Chicago, SCTC also launched the Harold Ramis Film School in 2016, the world's only film school dedicated to comedy. Past students of The Second City Training Center include Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Keegan-Michael Key, and many more comedy giants.

Since 1996, Giant Steps has been focused on providing education, therapeutic and recreational programs for Elementary, Junior High, High School students and young adults affected by autism, their families and the community. Our goal is to improve a child's ability to interact, communicate, and develop academic and daily living skills.

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