Over ten years ago, I was lucky enough to get to know a child that changed my life forever. Francisco showed me how to see the world through a different light. I was also fortunate to get to know his loving parents and saw at first-hand how challenging and time consuming it was for them just to do their daily routines. I learned that often there was no time in their day to organize the extra activities that spice up and brighten our lives and I also noticed that they did not have a space to connect with other parents in a similar situation. When Francisco would come to my house to spend time with my family, I found myself looking for activities to do with him but there was not much around, so I created a monthly group that he and other families from our community could enjoy.
And with the help of many community members since 2016, our Inclusive Circle (formerly Club Inclusive) has been offering a safe space for families with children and teens of all abilities. We provide monthly meetings for neurodiverse individuals while we offer a space for families to build community and share resources. During the meetings we offer music and art classes with instructors who are trained to work with children and neurodiverse individuals.
Everyone, together with their parent or caregiver is welcome in our circle. We have volunteers to guide the kids through the planned activities, but parents and caregivers can participate if that is what they prefer. There is also no age limit. We have activities for everyone to enjoy, and even though we encourage everyone to participate as much as they can, nobody is required to do anything that they don’t choose to do. Some parents of teens choose to walk around downtown Issaquah or use the time to run an errand.
Our 90 minute meetings start with a music class. We sing and make music together with the instruction of Keisha Edwards from Music Works Northwest. This serves as the ice breaker for the day and a chance for everyone to get to know one another. Music therapy addresses multiple therapeutic goals simultaneously by utilizing playful and interactive experiences such as instrument-playing, group improvisation, songwriting, and singing songs.
Then we put our instruments away, and we participate in an art class with Angela Bizzari, founder of Epic Art. Angela brings a different, creative project every month. It is often seasonally inspired, and our children and teens play with unique materials and tools and practice artful techniques, while they enjoy the creative process. Angela offers a happy place where self-expression and innovation are always encouraged!
To end the meeting, we share or take a snack to go. Snacks are often Krispy Kreme donuts! Parents will be asked in the sign in form if they want us to offer one to their children. All the activities are FREE, organized by The Circle and made possible thanks to the generosity of our volunteers, the Arts Commission of Issaquah and The Garage, Teen Café.
To register, please fill out this simple form. If you have any questions, please contact me, and help me to share this great resource with your community. Come and meet Francisco and all the other amazing children and teens that every month bring so much joy to our group while we all enjoy a fun, safe, and loving environment where everyone is welcome and celebrated for whom they are.
425 295 4024
Thursdays March 9, April 6, May 11 and June 8
From 7:00pm to 8:30pm at The Garage, a Teen Café:
235 First Avenue South 98027, Issaquah
Music class by Music Works Northwest and Art workshop by Epic Art!
Please register HERE!