"I worked 5 years in the Lawrence Public Schools as an Autism Specialist. Having the opportunity to be in different school settings and work with most if not all grades, I was privileged to see the many talents the students acquire naturally, like mimicking choreography and performing it so flawlessly, finding a beat on youtube and making up a rap on the spot, talking for hours of baseball teams, with exact names and their history with no hesitation, to disassembling a toy truck just to study its part and putting it back together in a blink of an eye. When given the opportunity to start the inclusion programs in the LPS I was over joyed of all the opportunities they now have, and to learn and share it with others!
Because that's the meaning of inclusion right??
Being at an inclusive school with after school programs I asked if my students were able to join the programs, and received a no because of “Budgeting” and “Staffing” reasoning, after asking in different offices and all the doors closing I decided to build my own.
I decided that I had to find a solution to this problem, and that’s how KDuranMusic was created!
My vision is to be able to start an awareness; better yet a MOVEMENT! Someone with special needs is able to master what their interests are, to the same capability as a typical learner;
for them not to be underestimated.
That other professionals will open the doors in their field to people with special needs, so they can keep spreading the awareness in other places. What motivates me to keep doing my job is the change I made in one of my students' lives. This student is non-verbal and had very high behaviors, which made it difficult for him to be part of the community. After taking months of singing and conga lessons, he found different rhythms and sounds to play and sing to express his emotions. The student started to carry his congas everywhere to express his feelings which decreased his behaviors and now he is able to be part of the community in a safe way!
Seeing my students being part of their community is my motivation!
Now imagine a world with an actual doctor with autism like the one from the series in ABC “The Good Doctor” or an AMAZING singer with disabilities like Bill Withers....
We say we live in an inclusive world,
but until we see it being part of the “norm” to have professional dancers, rappers, sports broadcasters, or even mechanics with special needs like the future my students at the school could have if someone in those fields will give them the opportunity, is when we in reality are living in an inclusive world. And the change has to start somewhere.
My change starts with music, whats yours?
KDuranMusic; We Can Too, Tambien Podemos.
“Creating musicians in a diverse and inclusive environment.”