Welcome to Episode 14 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
In the newest episode of Salsa Kings Live, Andres covers the sensitive issue of autism with his guest, Audrey. She is an ABA therapist and the creator of the spectrum dance therapy and her own non-profit Arts for Autism. She talks about how she became involved in working with people with autism. She goes into how dancing with people who were hard of hearing as a child inspired her to work with disabled people in the arts. She started Spectrum Dance Therapy at 23. Dance was a core part of her life, and in college, she studied developmental disabilities. Her passion for both inspired her to mix them together. She saw programs in California and New York that help her create her own program. Audrey’s programs gave clear growth, but she saw parents struggling as they had to prioritize ‘more serious’ programs for their children. Audrey decided to transform into a not-for-profit organization. Now her students don’t pay anything for her lessons.
Audrey believes in the transformative power of life, and as a result has decided to prioritize working with children with autism, in no small part due to how ignored they are by society at large. Audrey talks about how her studies gave her an ability to manage difficulties that other teachers would struggle, and how she had learned how to structure a class around it. The combination of dance and knowledge of behavioral studies is what has led to Arts for Autism’s success.
The discussion also covers the stigma, taboos, and outright ignorance against autism is in modern society. Despite how widespread it is, information about autism is sparse. Audrey gives a basic introduction to what autism is, and how best it is to interact with them, and make interactions with them more comfortable for both of you. Audrey talks about how people need to be more understanding with children and their parents if they see children on the spectrum having issues in public. Audrey goes over their issues in standard social situations and their potential for sensory overload. The important thing is to be understanding to their needs. Audrey also points out that the myth of vaccines causing autism has been debunked, despite adamant parents who insist otherwise.
This episode is very important for those who want dance to be for everyone, or even for those who simply want to understand the challenges that face a marginalized and under-represented group of people.
“What I really want to do is inspire more people.
It doesn’t have to be about autism.
It doesn’t have to be about dance.
Just learn something new and let it fuel you and use your passion to make an impact.”