Around the age of five Shaun was diagnosed as autistic with impulse control disorder. Instead of looking at our families’ situation as strange, I was struck by all the wonderful things that made him special rather than different – from his great memory that had a knack for recording every last minute detail of an event to his love for any movie that had music in it. Being musically inclined myself it seemed like a huge bonus that I got to re-experience Walt Disney classics years after it was way too uncool to do so. Of course I was able to under the guise of watching them with my younger brother. I guess now is as good a time as ever to admit I continue to use that same excuse, twenty years later. In fact – not a car ride or a visit goes by now where I don’t plug my iPhone into the car radio and YouTube search “sesame street telephone rock”, “jungle book – that’s what friends are for”, or “Little Mermaid – part of their world,” and join Shaun in a chorus of the classics. Shaun is a smart young man with an incredible boyish charm to him. His has a rich innocence and is willing to let anyone with interest into his world without question or judgment.
Give kids opportunities and they can thrive! Meet the kids at the music therapy class sponsored by EMARC, an affiliate of The Arc. Recreation and leisure supports are essential to adults and children and they are subsidized heavily by donations (usually 50% or more!) Learn more about the wonderful outcomes and potential of youth in this story.
Who We Are
The mission of The Arc of Massachusetts is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, and their families. We fulfill this through advocacy for community supports and services that foster social inclusion, self-determination, and equity across all aspects of society.