Kevin's Inner World
Any financial gifts you make will change the lives of young people like Kevin, a 15-year-old young male from Queens to continue his journey from developing and recognizing his abilities. Diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, Kevin commutes on his own by train every day from home to his middle school in Roosevelt Island, NY. As independent as he is as a gifted young adult, he also amazes me with his good memory, calm and observant qualities when I first met him at Center for All Abilities (CAA). Kevin participates with several therapy programs since the summer of 2016 that CAA offers to individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities. When I asked whether he enjoys coming to the music or the art programs every Wednesday and Saturday, his answer was, “Yes, I like both.” Kevin refers to the therapy sessions as “entertaining” and “happy”, giving him good feelings as he learns with other young adults. “When I’m here, I feel calm and excited. I like the programs because they give me room; it’s less pressure, like a playground.” said Kevin. He enjoys both art and music while drums and melodicas are two of his favorite instruments. His excitement showed as he arrived at least 45 minutes early at the center every time to wait for the sessions to begin. Kevin confided in me, “I come early and finish my homework here at the center.” Clearly, Kevin’s attitude and punctuality have set him apart from many students, and New Yorkers.
An Acronym That Inspires
Quiet and still, Kevin is an only child, and was encouraged by his parents to be independent at a very young age. Kevin has once told me that he loved math and was good at memorizing numbers, but also enjoy learning geography and is very good with directions. Over time, it was discovered that he was very gifted with artistic capabilities in creative arts such as drawing, as well as being intellectually engaging in his responses to questions initiated by three of the program creative art therapists, Jacqueline Christen, Wen Chang and Erika Shin during the weekly sessions. Kevin is often observant of how other young adults play their musical instruments in group settings. He possesses an ability to learn his part by memorizing the musical notes with great focus when processing information internally. On one occasion, Kevin impressed everyone in the room with the acronym H-E-A-R-T in his genuine response that stands for honesty, empathy, academic, respect and triumph when he shared about what he had learned in school.
“I want to learn how to dance, dancing makes me happy.”
Forging onwards, Kevin expressed that he would love to continue to come to the center for different developmental programs. A new dance class offered at CAA was something he recently signed up for with an excitement. “I want to learn how to dance, dancing makes me happy,” Kevin responded, with a smile.
Would you like to support Kevin to achieve his learning goals in 2017? His life will be enriched for the better as a result of your financial gift. With your support, and the support of other caring sponsors, Center for All Abilities will work with Kevin’s family and other members of the community to help Kevin recognizes his value and unique potentials. In March, CAA is hosting an art exhibit to showcase Kevin’s and many others’ artwork to family and friends. We invite you to spread the word and attend! Will you join our mission to support Kevin to become an inspiration to others through his creativity?