Dance of Joy: Celebrating the Rhythm of a Special Soul

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     Do you ever have a song that is played and you instantly think of a person?  One song for me is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I downloaded this song to play in my classroom when I had this boy as a student and needed a reward for completing an assigned task. He loved to dance and brought joy to all around him with his vitality and positive energy. I write about him in my book and his love of dancing. It’s a funny story, but you’re going to have to read about it in my book.

     He was the type of boy who would walk down the hall and be greeted by everyone as if he were a rock star; in his mind he was. Here are some insights from his mom who shares the joy of this student who is now a young man. I am happy to report he has a job and continues to be a hard worker and a helper in his community.


Q: What is one thing you wish teachers know about your child that is not on the IEP?
A: he’s very funny

Q: Scores on tests do not define the child. What is something your child is really good at that is not reflected on tests?
A: he likes to be helpful

Q: How important is homework for your child? Is it just a burden, or is it a helpful learning tool?
A: helpful learning tool

Q: How old was your child when you first knew he/she had special needs?
A: at birth

Q: What is one piece of advice you have for someone who has a newly diagnosed child?
A: I’ve always tried to treat him the same as all my other children

Q: What is one meal that everyone in your family likes to eat?
A: we like to try new things

Q: What advice do you have for interacting with children with special needs?
A: patience and kindness

Q: What activities do you recommend to other parents to foster self-care?
A: make sure to let the child take turns learning to do it themselves

Q: Are there any support groups that you recommend for parents or children?
A: I’ve tried to find special needs groups that do activities together

Q: What are your favorite family activities?
A: movies, shopping, attractions


     I smile every time I think of this young man. He wanted acceptance and to be treated just like everyone else. He was raised in a supportive family unit of a mom, dad, and two siblings. Peer acceptance was crucial to him, and he is proof that we are all more alike than different. Do you know a special person who brings everyone joy? Tell that person how they are a light for the world. We certainly need more people like him in the world today.