Why You Should Attend

Comments from past participants’ parents

“I have every confidence that my child would succeed, and that is a result of the involvement in this program. My child stepped up to the plate and was confident and mature. Although other subjects might be more of a challenge, academic work load, class size and professor personalities may be challenging as well, I feel the exposure to the college environment helps to know what to expect in the future and reduces the anxiety level, which helps at being successful. The more familiar the student is with the situation, the better it will go for them. Transitions, with Autism, are usually difficult, so this is a great help!”

“She enjoys the learning experience with nurturing professors and lecturers who are extremely creative in teaching and motivating. Her mentor, Ling claimed her as her charge and took much effort to bond with her. The friendship and support from the other participants, parents, mentors and Connie means a lot. She received sponsorship from Bill and Sandy Mason, who were strangers to her, she was touched with such generosity by this couple (and others) who would invest and treasure the gifts of these special needs students. These are just a couple of a whole lot of positive experience this entire week.”

“The most positive experience was the ability to learn and study music in a way that helped him move forward in piano, and all together as a student.”

“Everything about this was perfect. It allowed him to spread his wings and soar, and to feel encouraged about his gifts and talents and to continue to work at this. Staying in the dorms, sharing time with others who share in the same gifting, learning from professors and being treated with respect (as well as not feeling that material was set low for children) , being honored at both performances, being mentored by gracious and encouraging Master students, and finding out that someone financially supported him who had never even met him, as well as performing both privately and on stage at MSU all was wonderful. Also, the interest that Connie took in him to discuss creative ways to earn a new piano and go shopping to look at them as well, really got him excited. When I asked him, he replied that the house concert was his favorite part of the week- showcasing each student, and meeting many people who showed great interest in him. He really feels good about himself after this and I am excited to see what the future holds!”

Comments ASD leaders about the upcoming festival

“This event is intended to provide your student with an opportunity to experience a major transition. It is an artistic work group, unique in its focus on providing appropriate supports for students on the spectrum. It is our hope this will allow families to see their student grow in independence, and envision new opportunities for their future.  More importantly we hope this may expand your child’s expectations for their own lives. Students with unique musical gifts will have the opportunity to work with internationally recognized faculty, and will assist in developing a national network of gifted performing artists with ASD.”

“The faculty of the Celebrating The Spectrum festival are eager to work with students who are excited about their music, and looking forward to a challenging yet supportive immersion experience. We hope to provide your child an opportunity to experience the rigor, intensity and inspiration necessary to pursue a career in music.”

– Mary Sharp, M.D. Past President, Mid-Michigan Autism Association, Author of "An Unexpected Joy: The Gift of Parenting a Challenging Child.

“It is with excitement that I recommend “Celebrating the Spectrum – a Festival of Music and Life” as a week long camp experience for middle and high schoolers who love playing the piano and want to continue, even attend college as a music major.”

“Deborah Moriarty and Derek Polischuk, Camp Directors and Professors at Michigan State University, have planned a wonderful musical camp experience that is Autism friendly. Counselors and advisors have experience working with the Autism Spectrum. As the Executive Director of Mercer Island Music Technology Camps, an Autism inclusive program for 12 years, I plan to be there to help out and meet all of you.”

– Connie Wible, Owner and Adaptive piano teacher, Musical Mind Music Studio, Director-Mercer Island Music Technology Camps