Kudos to Mid-Columbia Ballet for their Include program and offering sensory-friendly performances for the “Nutcracker” and their spring performance — this year was the Jungle Book. They are serving a vastly underserved market in a way that means so much to the families of special needs children.
As you begin to adjust to life with a special needs child, typically the first thing to go is going out in public as a family, including community events. You never know how your child will react, when they may melt down or get overwhelmed, and act in an inappropriate way. It is too difficult to explain to all the judgmental people why your 6-foot-5, 225-pound 18-year-old is throwing a temper tantrum and crying like a toddler. Movies, plays, parades, concerts, restaurants and the like are just not worth it.
How wonderfully refreshing it is that an organization like the Mid-Columbia Ballet not only welcomes this group of families, but anticipates some of the issues by turning down the sound, leaving the lights on just a little, understanding the inappropriate outbursts, and even having a place to go to unwind when feeling overwhelmed.
This family can’t thank you enough.
Aaron Fergusson, Richland