Circus Starr’s award-winning app for children on the autistic spectrum.

Circus Starr’s award-winning app for children on the autistic spectrum.

Published Final Report

The final project report for Circus Starr’s award-winning Show and Tell app has been published on It marks the culmination of a two year project made possible by a grant from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

Show and Tell is a free-to-download, inter-active app designed to help young people on the autistic spectrum prepare for a visit to the circus. Based on the “social stories” concept, children can familiarise themselves with the sights and sounds of the Big Top using a selection of colourful images, footage of acts and captions.

The report outlines the project from initial research, to design and user-testing, through to measuring the impact of the app. It is hoped the lessons learned and insights gleaned will inspire other arts organisations to look to digital technologies to help enhance their offer to their audiences.  

Having proved its value in a circus arena, Circus Starr believes the app can be repurposed to help prepare young children, with or without autism, to explore other types of live performance. 

What People Are Saying

“ Our son is autistic. His behaviour can be very challenging in public and there are very few places we can take him for entertainment. Coming to see Circus Starr enables my son to experience not only new wonderful performances, but sit amongst an audience in a Theatre or a Big Top, which teaches him social skills.”

“Social stories and visual supports can be really valuable tools for many people with autism, helping them navigate situations like days out that many of us might take for granted”

Heather Wildsmith, Cultural Development Manager, National Autistic Society

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