By Shirley Blaier-Stein | May 07, 2011 at 05:44 PM EDT | 4 comments
Last month the Milford Mirror published a letter from the mother of a 21 year old girl with autism telling how a zumba studio in CT banned her girl from participating in classes. Can you believe this? The reason was safety. But when the mother assured them that she will provide the young woman with an aid, they said that they are afraid that their clients will not feel comfortable having a person with disabilities in the class.
Get it? They were afraid to lose business because they have a girl with autism in the class.
Now the girl has already participated in the demo class with much success and was so excited about starting to do zumba that she purchased special zumba pants (I love those!). She was completely devastated. And her family too.
A week after that, it was published that a few studios in the area have contacted the family to offer their studios for her to join. Mary Rose from Studio Z Fitness, where we had our parties, spoke to the girl personally and offered her a spot. “She was so sweet on the phone with me,” Mary Rose told me, “I really hope she comes to dance here!”
Mary Rose also interviewed with the paper for an additional article and told them about our party and how our kids did great and had a blast.
I am so glad that while we are having a great time dancing and enjoying each other’s company - and the kids are enjoying themselves dancing and running around with their friends - we are creating awareness: We are showing that our kids can do this! They can participate in different activities that people would not normally think they can – and have fun!
Awareness is not just letting the world know how many kids have autism and what signs to look for. Awareness is telling how great our kids are and what wonderful things they can do.