Friday, June 29, 2012

Annual Talent Show

Kaelyn Koffer, 13,  plays the guitar in the Show after only eight lessons.
It is one of the best events of the year - the annual Talent Show.  This year ASRC had fourteen acts, displaying the talents of those on the autism spectrum and some family members.  Acts included dancing and singing, playing piano, keyboard, or guitar, showing off artwork, a puppet show, a balancing act, Tae Kwon Do, and reciting the 50 States in alphabetical order.

In addition to performing on stage, the kids had the opportunity to bring in items that showed off their accomplishments.  Some brought in trophies from dance recitals, ribbons from swim meets, or Lego creations.  One very telling item was a single submission of an AB Honor Roll Medal.  It was the first time the child made the honor roll and everyone was very proud.

"It is so great to see these kids get up on stage in front of their friends and show us something they are proud of," said Doreen Lund of ASRC.  "Many of them won't participate in their school's talent show, but they feel comfortable here."

As great as the kids were as performers, they were also a wonderful audience.  They had to wait their turn, cheer for the other performers, and not laugh if someone made a mistake.  These skills are difficult for all children, but especially hard for those on the autism spectrum.  All of the performers received a flower at the completion of their act.

Parent volunteer, Marcia Mickelson, reserved and set up the show.  The audience consisted of families of the performers and several others from the public.  After the show, the families were treated to snacks and a slideshow of past ASRC events.  The idea for the Talent Show came from Mickelson's young son, and has become a very treasured event.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Book Fundraiser for a New Autism Library

Jack Lund, 12, a child with Asperger's Syndrome, reads storytime at Barnes and Noble
Where could you find several ASRC families and volunteers on Saturday, June 2nd?  They were at Barnes and Nobles in Corpus Christi, promoting ASRC, educating customers about autism, and helping raise money for ASRC's planned Autism Library.

The fundraiser, organized by ASRC staff member Dorothy Cunningham, was also a great social gathering for ASRC families and the community.  Centered around a dog theme, Spot the Dog came to visit, including a reading of some Spot stories.  Kids were entranced by storytime throughout the day; volunteer readers included some Windsor Park 5th graders, as well as some children with autism.  This was a great opportunity for all of the readers to gain experience speaking in front of others and offering community service.  ASRC parents volunteered to help kids with crafts, pick out books, and sit at the information table.

ASRC enjoyed a long but fun day of spreading awareness and meeting the community.  Barnes and Noble will generously contribute a percentage of some of the book sales for the day.  Plans for the proceeds include opening a library for families with books geared towards autism and special needs.  The library will be housed at ASRC/Spectrum Counseling, and open to the public.  Thank you to all of our volunteers!