Sensory Friendly Concert

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to lunch with Jaycie Voorhees.  She's a music therapist in Utah.  She is so great, and I am so excited for what she is doing in our community.  We're hoping that we'll be able to do some work together in the future :)

She's putting on a Sensory Friendly Concert next week.  Everyone is invited.  It sounds like a lot of fun with great entertainment and it will be interactive for the kiddos.  Bring the whole family, and help spread the word!  Jaycie is hoping that this will be something they can start doing on a regular basis if there is enough interest.

Embracing Autism

This weekend I was talking with a good friend of mine (Melissa), and she told me this awesome story.  I wanted to share.

Last week at school, Melissa's 10 year old cousin overheard a group of kids making fun of another kid.  The kid that they were making fun of has Autism.  So this 10 year old boy went over to the other kids, made them line up and started to give them a lecture.  He basically told them that just because people are different doesn't mean that we should treat them differently.  Everyone deserves to be treated well.

What a kid!

The story doesn't stop there.  Melissa's 10 year old cousin was told that he could only invite a handful of kids to his birthday party this year since they were having it at a place where you pay per person.  When he went home that day, he told his mom that there was a kid in his class that he wanted to invite because he never gets invited to parties since the other kids think he's weird.  He told his mom "Mom, he's not weird, he's just autistic."  He worried that this boy might not be able to come to the party because his parents always attend the field trips at school to help him, so they made a special invitation to give to him at school.  There was an invitation for the kid, and a note to the mom telling her that they would really like her son to come to the birthday party, but they understood that he may want her to stay and that she is more than welcome to stay at the party as well.

What a family!

I feel like this is one of those moments where you would be so happy as a parent...on both sides of the story.  I hope that Melissa's cousin realizes that he is an inspiration, and that an attitude like that can literally change the world.  As he goes throughout his life, he will continue to have a big impact on others around him, and will teach acceptance of differences through his words and his example.  He will be a hero to many :)

To his parents, I want to say thank you for raising your son in a way that he would be able to make these beautiful decisions on his own without worrying about who he's going to impress or make upset.  That is true integrity, and it's a difficult thing to instill in others.

Joy Mano
Utah PLAY Project Home Consultant
Early Intervention for Children with Autism

 photo credit: susivinh via photopin cc


Sorry, I haven't had a post for a week.  I went out of town for a week, and failed to have posts ready before I left.

So I just spent a week in California with beautiful weather, and a lot of time with Mickey and Goofy :)  I am lucky and I have the best family ever.  I got to spend a week with my entire family, and it was so much fun.  My nieces and nephews are the perfect ages for Disneyland, so we had a blast.

Disneyland was always our family vacation growing up, which I didn't mind.  However, as soon as I graduated High School, I did learn that there are a lot of amazing places out there to travel to.  I love traveling.

Disneyland or Disney World with my nieces and nephews is so much fun though.  My favorite ride has always been Peter Pan, probably because I always have wished that I could fly :)  Now I really like the new Cars ride and also the Toy Story ride.

This year we went to the World of Colors for the first time which is a huge water show, and I have to say it was pretty amazing.  I also saw the fireworks one night and Fantasmic.  We did it all.

One special experience I had was when I was getting off a ride with my 10 year old niece and there were some people that were waiting to get on, and they did not have to wait in line.  She asked me what they were doing and why they didn't have to go through the line.  They had some autism awareness shirts on, so I had the opportunity to explain to her how awesome Disney is (although I have heard they may be changing the program due to people taking advantage of the program without having a disability, which is really sad that people do that.)

I explained a little to her about how some people have special needs and have much more difficult lives than we do, so what Disney does is they allow them to be able to have the best time they can at the park with their families without having to worry about standing in line.  I also explained that for some families if they had to stand in line, they would never have the opportunity to go to Disneyland because it would be too hard.

I love when I get little opportunities to explain things like this to the kids in my life (and the adults too.)