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Talent Shows have been a staple for schools all over the world for a long time. The courage it takes to perform in front of an audience is something a lot of individuals have trouble with. Many would think that a school comprised of a student body of children with Autism, would not be able to successfully accomplish such an event. This is not the case for The Graham Academy. The Graham Academy’s Talent Show is the most attended Graham Community Event year after year. Each year the students surprise the parents and professionals with their wonderful and extraordinary performances. This years’ event met all those expectations.

Every act performed by the students is well organized and amazing. Listening to a student who has a hard time communicating verbally, sing a song, is a rewarding and moving experience. Seeing a student dance to their favorite song, and nailing the choreography they worked so hard on, makes you jump out of your seat with applause. The cleverness of a student solving a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute makes your jaw drop when the cube is held high by a proud young man. Who knew there were amazing musicians residing inside the walls of The Graham Academy! Instruments presented include the piano, trombone, and flute. The resident flautist provided a magnificent rendition of The Galway Piper.

Students prepared for weeks for their talent show acts in their classrooms and on stage.
Practicing everything from their own performance to acting like an audience member and supporting their peers, students are provided with the time they need to prepare. This all leads up to a Talent Show day that is well-organized, exciting and not so scary for the performers.

Opportunity is a core value at The Graham Academy. Providing students with the option to get on stage and perform for an audience with the right supports in place lets each student shine. Parents then have the opportunity to witness an event that may not have been possible in a different environment. A wonderful feeling for a parent of a child with special needs is when they can feel the acceptance and encouragement of their child from, not only the professionals, but the other families as well. Supporting each other is a strong bonding agent for the Graham Community.

The Graham Academy’s mission is to educate students living with autism and students living with emotional challenges to excel in life through communication, exploration, opportunity, acceptance, accountability, and ambition. Through all events, one can see how the mission is implemented in the daily routine throughout the school year. The upcoming events in June include the End of Year Celebration where students participate in honoring the graduates and their hard work over the years. This event is followed by the Annual Art Show, a display of work completed by the students from the entire year. For more information about The Graham Academy visit the website at www.thegrahamacademy.com.􀀀 or visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.