For the first time since we can remember
For the first time since we can remember, he has been excited to go to school. For the first time in a long time, he is sleeping through the night.
Several years ago, I was teaching a creative dance residency to third graders at a Utah County Elementary School. These two-week residencies enabled us to work with a group of 20 students everyday for two weeks culminating in a performance assembly for the whole school and families of the third grade performers.
During this one particular residency, I remember having one young student, we will call him Andy, who was so engaged, so excited, so focused. Many students were thriving in our dance classes, so I didn't think anything to be out of the ordinary. After the performance assembly, Andy's father came up to me and introduced himself. He said,
"Thank you--thank you for bringing this dance experience to our school. As an autistic child, my son Andy has been struggling in third grade. For the past two weeks, Andy has been coming home everyday and showing us his dance moves. For the first time since we can remember, he has been excited to go to school. For the first time in a long time, he is sleeping through the night."
Alexandra Bradshaw-Yerby Assistant Professor, Dance THEATRE ARTS & DANCE SOUTHERN UTAH UNIVERSITY