LINCOLN, Nebraska (KOLN) – Parents of children on the autism spectrum sometimes fear that their child will not get all the opportunities that other children are afforded.
But the Autistic Families Network is working with other Lincoln organizations to create a regular art party-like experience to help kids on the spectrum live life to the fullest.
Urban Legends Art Studio owner Anna Alcalde leads regular art parties and clubs for the Autism Family Network.
“Anytime you teach a child art, it empowers them and boosts their confidence and self-esteem,” said Alcade. “Again, whatever their abilities, you help them grow, they build their confidence, and they just become leaders in their communities. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.”
These conferences and projects brought people like Jared and Cole together. Jarred says he likes designing cookies for Christmas and Cole’s favorite activity is tie-dying his shirts.
For Jared’s mother, Janelle, it’s comforting to know that her child is living a full and happy life.
“I can’t put into words how happy I am,” Janelle said. “To see him just smile and laugh with another fellow. It’s good…he made a lot of friends here. When he comes here every week, it’s amazing to me how he shines.” I can’t explain.”
An art party is a chance to hone your skills, but it’s also a chance to socialize.
“Many children on the autism spectrum run out of time from school and other opportunities,” says Alcade. “And there are plenty of social opportunities. So what we’re doing here is allowing friends to get together with their friends and make new and old friends.”
These art parties are going well and we plan to launch a club for younger children in January.
The Art Social Club is made possible in partnership with the Lincoln Arts Council, Autism Family Network and Urban Legends Art Studio. For more information, please contact the Autism Family Network.
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