PEP Prentiss Autism Center recently held its fourth annual “March Madness” basketball skills competition – and it was an absolute joy. All kids had the chance to participate in the five events in the preliminary round. The highest scores advanced to the finals. The gym where our kids practice gross-motor skills was converted to PEP Prentiss Arena – and parent spectators packed the house.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was Jacob. A few weeks ago, Jacob was humming “The Star Spangled Banner” and his teacher – Jennifer Patton – took interest. A few weeks later, Jacob performed the entire song in front of a capacity crowd.
PEP Prentiss March Madness is just one of the several ways we integrate movement into our curriculum. Too often, society’s response to children with special needs is to isolate them from physical and social activities – a reaction that research shows could ultimately hinder healthy social-emotional development. At PEP, we believe movement matters to help children learn and grow.