I’m lucky enough to get to DJ for the kids at Cherokee Day Camp every Friday for their weekly pool party. It’s been my favorite party ever since I started DJing for them 3 years ago. As I arrive all the kids start yelling, “DeeJay Shelly’s here! Hey DJ!” Then, they run up and give me big hugs – SUPER COOL. As an interactive DJ, I make sure we play lots of kids games. I keep them very busy for the entire two hours. We sing, dance, play with hula hoops, play over/under and all other kinds of fun activities. These kids are just so awesome. Our pool parties together make my entire week!
What could be better than being a part of all this fun? Two weeks ago the small group of children who have Autism and Asperger Syndrome stayed with me on the patio for about 20 minutes (Since there are so many children at camp, the staff at Cherokee usually split up the kids into groups. This way everyone gets a turn at the pool party). At first they wouldn’t come near me. If you’ve worked with, or know, children with Autism or Asperger Syndrome, they have difficulty with social interactions. Yet, I could tell they really loved the music and wanted to be a part of the dance party – just like everyone else. First I asked them if they wanted to dance. Then, I asked them if they wanted to sing on the microphone. Next, I asked them if they wanted to play games. All of these questions got the same response – they looked at me with a blank stare and then turned their heads. I wasn’t giving up! Finally, I asked them if they wanted to sit next to me and help me pick out songs to play. Boy, did this spark their interest! By the end of their time at the pool party they were singing on the microphone like rock stars! It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I was able to connect with these children through music. We only had a very short time together, but it’s one of the experiences in my DJ career I’ll remember for a life time. Thank you Cherokee Day Camp – where miracles happen! This is also why I’m a firm believer in Music Therapy.
For more information about Autism or Asperger Syndrome, you can visit http://www.autismspeaks.org.
Meet Jared! (Featured in Photo above). He’s not a child with Autism, however he was one of the cutest little kids participating in our weekly dance contest. If you think his dance moves look great in pictures, wait until you see them in person. Boy is he talented! We couldn’t get enough of him busting out his moves at Cherokee Day Camp yesterday. Thanks to his mom, Kendra, for letting us feature him on our blog!