• before i lurked off into the parents waiting room •

tracing her body and coloring it in while waiting for everyone to arrive…

large movement across the room…

coach e asking everyone to get as teeny tiny as they could “create your smallest space!”

and then their biggest…

they then got into groups and created their own pattern of small, medium, big…and cat (piano player) created small music, medium music, and big music. they got to choreograph a little dance-large small large medium…in whatever pattern they wanted. it was something so simple and yet so wonderful.

blurry faces because i had to share, but dont want to share without permission

they learned another song yesterday!

and yes, the DVD is available to rent via netflix, or to buy here.

Join the Conversation


  1. Tara, I have been a blog stalker for a long time and LOVE your work! (and yes…too shy to comment until now!) The last three posts about McKenna have really moved me! I don’t have any children yet but I only hope that I can be half the mother that you are! The program looks amazing and I’m so glad it has brought happiness and peace to you and your family! I just wanted to let you know that I admire your strength and courage to do anything you can to better your child’s life….YOU ROCK!!!

  2. She looks like she is seriously enjoying the activities. These are beautiful shots – I don’t know if it’s just me, but it’s like you can feel the hope and joy in that room. I’m incredibly happy for Mckenna and the rest of your family.

  3. Wow… I am teary. Such a wonderful place… so moving to hear what a terrific time your sweet girl had. And your emotions… perfect… you love her with all your heart. You are her mama. I am a teacher and it just reinforces my passion for ALL children when I read wonderful things like this. Bless you!

  4. wow. thank you once again for sharing your heart and your story in pictures and words. to read and feel your excitement, mckenna’s joy, and your love and commitment. the value of a child that God has created special who is touching others and without whom the world wouldn’t be the same place. and today at work, i was building a big DVD order for the library (i work in a public library), and guess what? we ordered Autism: the musical for the library collection. when i read the blurb, it mentioned coach e, and i just got a thrill. so another place to find (or request) the DVD–your library!

  5. Wow! So great to see these pictures – I sincerely cannot imagine what it was like to be there in person. I have seen Autism the musical – loved it!! Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for inspiring us Moms out there that walk in similar shoes. You are a gift in more ways than you will ever know – Thank you!!!

  6. We just watched Autism:The Musical a few weeks ago. We had it in from Netflix for literally WEEKS!! My husband kept asking me to watch it but I just didn’t want to. I have a son 4 and a half yr old with Autism and after so many appointments and so many MANY evaluations and meetings and ‘opinions’ I just couldn’t bear to hear anymore about it! Really I just couldn’t bear the thought of anymore lectures about Autism. No more clinical views. Then we watched it and it was so powerful and so real and so HUMAN!!! My husband and I cried almost the whole time. Out of frusteration and fear and HOPE!! The parents were so beautiful and flawed. Just like the rest of us ;) To see your daughter get to be a part of this project so soon after I finally made myself watch it shocked me and excited me. Your pictures of her are gorgeous and made me feel like a part of the group!! Thank you so much for bringing these people into my life again!! I hope it inspires people to watch the movie and get educated about Autism!!

    WOW I babble ;)

  7. tara – this is truly a beautiful thing that mckenna is getting to experience. awesome that you are such a powerful momma and makes sure to make these sorts of things possible for her. and dang girl – you’re lookin good! love the elevator photo fo both of you!

  8. OMG! Tara!This is so amazing and so sweet. I am so happy for you guys! Mckenna is a precious precious girl and shes so lucky to have a caring mom like you! Im glad she got to be a part of it and this touched me too. Thanks for sharing your life with us and for your openess and candid writings.
    Thats why people love you. You keep it real.
    Hugs and keep on being you!
    And McKenna keep on being herself too! Shes perfect the way she is. She is as she was intended to be.
    Her smile is infectious.
    Im a mom and a grandma and I love children and shes got a huge heart and a huge smile.
    Wish you guys all the best!

  9. hey question for ya… are the volunteers teenagers, many of them seem so young, I think it’s fantastic to see ‘kids’ volunteering their time,

    Looks like a fantastic program, I’d love to find something like it!!

  10. ohhh sister I is crying and wiping my tears with a mcdonalds napkin. mckenna is the cutest thing and you are a great momma. so happy you found this place for her. it seems so right. bravo. – jennifer

  11. This looks absolutely wonderful!!! I am so happy that you were able to find this for her! I get giddy excited for you just looking at the pictures and keep checking back for updates!

    Congratulations on finding such a wonderful program for your wonderful daughter!

  12. This is so touching and near to my heart. My best friend’s son is 3 weeks older than my daughter, and he was diagnosed with autism several months ago. She struggles to make his life “normal” and to do her best to understand him, but it’s so hard on her. I know its tougher on her seeing how kids without autistm are developing and her child is so far behind them.
    I wish we had programs like this in my area, but MS is so far behind in everything. :(
    It’s dis-heartening.

  13. I, as well, am moved to tears. All those miles, so WORTH her smiles! Blessings to a beautiful girl and her beautiful mommy.

    A Mother’s Love

    A Mother’s love is something
    that no on can explain,
    It is made of deep devotion
    and of sacrifice and pain,
    It is endless and unselfish
    and enduring come what may
    For nothing can destroy it
    or take that love away . . .
    It is patient and forgiving
    when all others are forsaking,
    And it never fails or falters
    even though the heart is breaking . . .
    It believes beyond believing
    when the world around condemns,
    And it glows with all the beauty
    of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
    It is far beyond defining,
    it defies all explanation,
    And it still remains a secret
    like the mysteries of creation . . .
    A many splendoured miracle
    man cannot understand
    And another wondrous evidence
    of God’s tender guiding hand.

  14. As a long time reader and lurker I just wanted to say that these photos have moved me to tears! I work with children needing learning assistance and all to often they are the forgotten ones when it comes to the fun stuff such as this program. The smile on Mckenna’s gorgeous face is proof enough that there should be more of this available.

    You go Mckenna!!!

  15. I just have to say thank you for sharing this. I have many circumstances in my life right now that are making me cry tears of sadness but right now I was crying tears of joy for this amazing thing that McKenna is getting to do….and I’m really glad.

  16. oh Tara…this is so heart warming. i am in LOVE with this camp and how it is nurturing these kids (and the parents). thank you for sharing your very sacred time with us. i am touched and so very moved beyond words. love to you.

  17. I think that this program is phenomenal. I need to get the dvd so I can watch it. I wonder if Hollywood video has it??

    My oldest son has autism and is an amazingly beautiful young man. He is 13 years old and he has enriched my life in ways that I cannot begin to explain. I love hearing about and seeing pictures of your McKenna. She is beautiful. Thank you for sharing her.

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