Throughout my volunteer work with children with special needs, I often heard “why do people end up with disabilities?” and “how does Gd allow this to happen to people?”. Questions like these were common but usually did not receive an answer.
I always held the opinion that people with special needs were indeed special; placed on this Earth to teach the rest of us to take the time to appreciate the simpler things in life and to humble us with their views of the world. This seemed clear to me, however, I did not know the scientific reasons for people with disabilities.
Therefore, at the beginning of my Junior year at Gann Academy, I proposed to conduct an Independent Research and Design (IRaD) project to learn more about the scientific reasons for people with disabilities. Initially, I wanted to research the genetic “mutations” that lead to many of the more common disabilities and how dance can possibly have a positive effect on different disabilities. As I started my project, I narrowed my research to only the study of Down’s syndrome because it is a strictly genetic mutation.
In creating CHEETA (Children Helping Empower Each other Through Art), it is essential for me to better understand the science of children with special needs. The insight from my IRaD project will influence the movements of my dance classes and help create the most effective dance program for children with special needs.
As part of my IRaD project I wrote a research paper and I presented my work to a panel of teachers earlier this afternoon. Over the next few weeks, I will post my research paper in sections on my blog to exhibit my findings. The bibliography for my work will be in the documents section of my blog page and citations throughout my next few blogs will direct you to other sources. I hope you enjoy learning more about Down’s syndrome and the positive effects of dance!