A little life lesson…

So often, some of the greatest lessons we learn in life come in times and places when we are least expecting them. Last week offered one of those moments…

As our monthly movie night at the Burnett Center came to an end, as we turned off ‘The Incredibles’ and vacuumed up popcorn debris, a new friend, who will be participating at the center, asked if he could talk to me about some things he had on his mind.

Curious, I welcomed the conversation as this bright, charming and contemplative young man talked about planning for the future and how the unknown can be overwhelming for people with autism. For him, this was in regards to his life and wondering about girlfriends, marriage, even heaven… and for me, in the back of my mind thinking about the vision for the future of the Burnett Center and the endless opportunities of what it will hold for this community.

“Hey Tam, sometimes, you know, you can’t predict what’s going to happen, so you just have the live in the now, and be in the moment.”

Live in the now. Be in the moment. Of course…

So many of us so badly want to predict what will happen next in life… especially many families (like my own) who are living with children and adults with developmental disabilities. Daily, we are faced with so many unknowns of what the future will hold… Where will they live, will they find a job, will they find new friends, have hobbies, will they find happiness?

While none of us have the concrete answers to those questions, I am reminded to only worry about what we have control over now, and to be in the moment.

And it is my deepest desire, that what we are able to offer through the Burnett Center, both now and in the future is both peace of mind for what is in the now, and hope for what the future holds.

With that, we are so thrilled to introduce the classes, activities and events that will be offered beginning in mid-April at the Burnett Center. View our Spring Schedule.

We have taken feedback from dozens of meetings and thoughtfully shaped our Spring Schedule to reflect the interests, skills and needs of adults of all abilities. Everyone on our team is committed and dedicated to making sure that every adult who comes through our doors has the opportunity for lifelong learning and to reach their fullest potential and enhance their quality of life.

So this spring- what can the community expect to find happening at the Burnett Center?

Art classes tailored to position each adult to explore their creativity and find confidence in their own projects.

Music classes that take modern music, instruments and concepts combined with traditional music therapy to pique the interest of these (hip) young adults.

Innovative cooking and baking classes partnered with chefs from wonderful restaurants, and more basic cooking classes- designed to introduce the kitchen and basic food prep to newer learners.

Zumba classes that will have adults shaking and moving to fun modern music, while burning off some energy (something we could all benefit from perhaps!).

Fundamental life skills classes, focusing on all the unknowns of transitioning into adulthood… time and money management, hygiene, dating, social skills, and more. All offered in a fun, safe and positive environment of other young adults.

Weekly open recreation opportunities, monthly movie and gaming nights offer free-flowing, organic opportunities to find others who share similar interests, while participating in activities set up and led by our wonderful staff.

And at the core of our program, and in each of these classes, lies our knowledge and belief that every adult is different, and that no one model, class or style fits every one. With this in mind, we are staffed with knowledgeable, and compassionate staff and instructors who will work tirelessly to create modifications, schedules, structure, and reinforcements to ensure each adult is set up to reach their fullest potential and be the best they can be now.

So, today as we enthusiastically announce the greatness that will be soon be upon us, I encourage you all to take the advice from my new buddy and, “Live in the now,” knowing that there is a community around you who very much ‘gets it’. Knowing that we are eager and ready to drive innovative change to ensure that tomorrow looks a little brighter for young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

We look forward to meeting more of you in the coming months and warmly welcome you to participate in one or many of the activities taking place this spring. Complete the online enrollment form, and view our classes!