About Helping Hands Art & Exercise
Our goal for this program is multifaceted: to learn, to explore, to meet new people, and to promote overall good health and well-being. We incorporate job training into all components of the program. Additionally, we hope to raise awareness for our Helping Hands artists with autism and developmental disabilities. We envision a world in which each human being is respected and embraced for their unique and special gifts and celebrated for their ability to perceive the world with a different yet remarkable eye.
Helping Hands Art and More was created by three women with over 40 years combined experience in special education. The idea was borne from seeing one of our graduating students struggle to find meaning and a purpose in his life after high school. He had been a graduate for months and still had not found a replacement that he enjoyed as much as his high school experience. This heightened our awareness to the very limited opportunities for the 21 and above population. As cooperating instructors in a high school autism program, we had heard this repeatedly in the many workshops we have attended, but it did not truly resonate until we saw it happen to one of our own. Our students shift from a full seven to nine hour day filled with art, exercise, socialization, structure, and meaning in school, to one which lacks everything that has become such an important piece of who they are. With Helping Hands Art and Exercise, we have created a meaningful opportunity for young adults transitioning to full-time life in the community and for adults who would simply like to try something new.