David Shaman began the School Peacemaker Program in 2006 in response to what he recognized as a
growing need for nonviolent education among school-aged youth. With a clipboard and a dream, Shaman began
interviewing school social workers, principals, therapists and parents as to how best he could be of
The School Peacemaker Program soon blossomed into a comprehensive
program utilizing puppetry, self-esteem awareness, role-playing and drumming. After building the program for
several years, a friend of David's who worked with autistic children suggested that the drumming might be
beneficial for kids diagnosed within the autistic spectrum.
David then consulted with Thomas Altaffer, LCSW. Tom is a leading
autistism professional in the South Jersey area. Tom concurred that the potential benefit that drumming could
provide for the autistic child might be great and generously contributed his time and knowledge toward
supporting the launch of the project.
Objectives of the Drumming for Autism Project include increasing
and improving socialization as well as reducing anxiety and behavioral problems.
Some experts believe that drumming can help autistic children
access different parts of their brains, specifically, their right-brain. The right-brains of humans are
responsible for emotions, intuition, artistry and relaxation. All of us benefit from
stimulating our right-brains, but the autistic and attention-deficient child stands to potentially benefit by
leaps and bounds. It is possible, therefore, that drumming can provide a type of neurological repatterning
for these children.
By networking and collaborating with other cutting-edge
individuals and organizations in South Jersey David Shaman hopes to expand the benefit of this work to
everybody that he can.