Ballet for All Kids was one of my favorite parts of interning with the American Autism Association. At first, going into the program I was very nervous because this had been my first time working hands-on with anyone who had special needs. I had done the research and read about autism but is different when you experience working first hand.
I learned as each week of the program went by, how unique autism impact each child differently. As someone who is majoring in the psychology field it is really life changing because special needs and mental health is something that tends to be overlooked. I can read about these things as much as I can but it is not the same as being in the environment and it makes so much more of an impact. However, after the first couple of weeks I felt comfortable interacting with the children. There is a lot of positive energy in the room between the children, the volunteers, and Rebecca the instructor. The children were very happy to be there and seeing their joy made me extremely happy to be a part of an organization that is truly making a difference.
I had a couple of friends also participate in the cause because they too are interested in giving back to the community and they had some things to share about the program as well.
“I think the ballet program is a good initiative to get autistic children to learn while having fun. They get to meet other children like themselves and it provides a safe haven for families. During my time there, guardians were very supportive, and some engaged with the children present which showed me how much the program meant to them.” Natalia Lantigua.
“I looked forward to bonding and seeing them enjoy the lesson. I also liked that the parents were engaging with the volunteers and teaching them about their likes and dislikes.”– Mirnelly Fernandez.
“I enjoyed the program. There were many moves that I couldn’t do that the kids performed a million times better than I did. They had tons of energy as well, which was good because I was able to match their level and make it more fun for them.” – Muktar Adebayo
Thank you for all of your help in making the Ballet For All Kids program a truly special experience for me!