Pana's AAMP Programming Helping Children with Special Needs


Pana - With the colorful walls, meaningful quotes, and music, one might say the AAMP program is all fun and games for these children.

AAMP owner Erica Matthews said,"we want them to feel that they belong somewhere and that they have friends.  Aamp is a dance program autism and special needs.  We use autism therapy to strengthen the brain."

What looks like fun to those on the outside is actually hard work to help them develop their speech, motor skills, and their social skills.

Matthews said that she started the Autism and Movement Project to help children like fifth grader Evan Lees.

"Evan is one of our brilliant kids he is so full of energy," she added.

For the Evan Lees, going to AAMP was about learning how to deal with stress.

"And that's why I went there to help me with my stress to help me with my hair pulling and Erica's place is amazing everybody, even adults and children.  When we do some exercise it kind of hurts my legs, but that's good because i hear that helps your muscles," he said.

Like his snowman, Evan's teacher said that he took some building up before his true character began to shine.

"Sometimes he does have problems with pulling his hair and things like that, but otherwise, he does wonderful.  He does a good job working 1 on 1 and with partners," said his teacher, Dara Berner.

Even though he knows the AAMP program is a lot of work, Evan Lees is an example of how AAMP can change a life.

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