Here at The Musical Autist, we know that keeping track of our progress is vital….if for no other reason than that nobody has ever done exactly what we are doing!
Up until we launched this blog one year ago (April 1st is our birthday!) we were always searching the internet, to no avail, for a concept or program which provided EQUAL ACCESS TO THE FINE ARTS to those on on the autism spectrum and other related disabilities, in an accommodating atmosphere.
We were also searching for a music venue which cultivated artistic expression and self-advocacy of neurodivergent people. In other words, consistent opportunities for autistic people to express their musical gifts through performance was something we were searching for.
We couldn’t find it being done, so this developed into a philosophy we realized we must cultivate on our own. The three words, “Sensory Friendly Concert” became a concept we knew we needed to construct ourselves.
So, like any young professional versed in the importance of “evidenced based practice”, CJ Shiloh decided to include a simple survey in every Sensory-Friendly Concert program. It’s basically been the same questions, for the past eight SF Concerts, and we ask families to fill one out every time they attend. By doing this, they know they are helping to support and propel our cause!
At our most recent Sensory-Friendly Concert, we added a question about the iPad, since we are so thrilled about incorporating iPad-musicking into our programming. Check it out:
We also ask for attendees to leave comments/suggestions on the back, and this has truly helped us to refine our program. We live in a very densely populated area (in the middle of a little triangle between Baltimore/Annapolis/WashingtonDC) and we have lots of awesome people in the special needs community here! We are so thankful for the beautiful reciprocal effect that has happened between The Musical Autist and our local community.
It is our dream to inspire and enable Sensory-Friendly Concerts to happen throughout the world! So exciting to see that already taking formation!
Here is CJ’s favorite question from the survey:
Did you observe our child/dependant/client participate and/or engage during the concert in ways they do not normally behave?
33% of the folks who answered ‘yes’ had never been to a SF Concert. And…(here’s the good part! if you like data, you can dork out with us here!)…. 50% of folks that answered YES had come to more than one SF Concert.
So…..this portrays the increased positive effect of continued exposure to fine arts music and opportunities for artistic expression/self-advocacy.
We have more awesome data findings, but in order to reach our most proficient “glance readers,” we’ll end here. If you want to learn more about our data, and the work we are doing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.s. Don’t forget to wish us a Happy 1st Year Birthday on April 1st! The start of AUTISM ACCEPTANCE month!!! 🙂
Carol Diachenko says
Great input! Thanks to Carolyn for all the hard work of keeping track of all this info and it’s really exciting to see it put into the format you used Christy!