Art parties for kids on the spectrum develop skills and create connections
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Parents with children on the autism spectrum sometimes fear their child won’t get all the opportunities other children get.
But Autism Family Network, in partnership with other Lincoln organizations, is creating experiences, like regular art parties, to make sure kids on the spectrum get to live a full life.
Anna Alcalde, owner of Urban Legends Art Studio, leads regular art parties and clubs for the Autism Family Network.
“Anytime you teach a kid art, you give them a talent, you boost their self confidence and their self esteem,” Alcade said. “Again, no matter what their ability is, you will help them grow and their confidence will grow. And they just become more of a leader in the community. They do. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.”
These meetings and projects have brought together people like Jarred and Cole. Jarred says he loved designing Christmas cookies and Cole’s favorite activity was creating tie dye shirts.
For Jarred’s mom, Janelle, it’s a reassurance to know her child is living a full, happy life.
“I can’t even describe how happy I am,” Janelle said. “To see him just smiling and laughing with another peer. It’s great...He’s made so many friends here. I can’t even explain how much he lights up every week when he gets to come here.”
The art parties are a chance to develop skills, but also a chance to socialize.
“A lot of kids on the autism spectrum will time out of schools and other opportunities,” Alcade said. “And there’s a lot of opportunities to have socialization. So what we’re doing here is we’re allowing friends to gather with friends and make new friends and old friends.”
These art parties are going so well, that they’re planning to start a club for younger children in January.
The Art Social Club is made possible by a partnership with Lincoln Arts Council, Autism Family Network and Urban Legends Art Studio. You can find more information by reaching out to the Autism Family Network.
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