Autistic children at NYU

Essay by grimusa September 2007

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The crowd burst into a loud set of applause, the rows of audience cheering were all standing, and you can see tears in many people’s eyes. Absolutely astounding, was the only phrase that I could come up with it at that point, because some things are just unexplainable, and there are no words to describe them. The performer on stage was undeniably ecstatic and his big, bright smile was visible even to those sitting in the back rows. I am sure that every person sitting in the Helen and Martin Kimmel Center for University Life could have come up a huge list of adjectives to describe the young man before them but no one would have said that the ambitious and extremely talented gentleman standing before them was suffering from autism.

This young boy, as well as the rest of the rejoicing staff of the shows and gallery were all children that participated in the Express Yourself program on Sunday, and all of these children were autistic.

Unfortunately, most people who do not deal with autistic kids and teenagers very often have an extremely stereotypical view of patients of autism, and would never think that these kids can sing, dance, act, and paint like the heroes of the ArtWorks team had done. Our group was lucky enough to be able to attend a show and view a gallery done only by children with autism, and needless to say the stereotype was completely left behind.

The event, held in NYU, was a combination of a performance, and a viewing of a gallery of paintings, sculptures, collages, and arts & crafts done by the children of the program. The celebration began with the performance part, in which children and young adults sang, danced, and completely blew the audience away with eyes...