Tracker Pixel for Entry

How to dance in Ohio

by Suzanne Carroll | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | April 5th, 2017

April is Autism Awareness Month. To celebrate both the unique challenges and capabilities of people on the Autism Spectrum, the Region V Transition Community of Practice Committee is hosting a free movie night at the Fargo Theatre on Thursday, April 6at 7:00pm.

The featured film is called “How to Dance in Ohio.” The Region V Transition Committee is a multi-disciplinary group made up of area agencies, educators and families that come together for the common purpose of assisting transition-aged youth and young adults with disabilities to navigate the challenges of entering the adult world.

Along those same lines, “How to Dance in Ohio” follows a group of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Columbus, Ohio, as they prepare for an American rite of passage—a spring formal dance.

The movie documents a training period of 12 weeks, where participants learn all of the many steps that are required to successfully attend a dance. Many people without disabilities find social engagements difficult or awkward, but this film illustrates just how paralyzing some of the most basic social interactions are for those with ASD.

One of the main symptoms of ASD is impaired communication skills and this is highlighted from the start of training classes, as students ask questions about topics as simple as how to say hello to someone. One of the main subjects of the film, Jessica, puts it in painfully honest terms when she says, “We like to socialize, but we just don't know how.”

Several other class participants are interviewed and share some of their common interests, such as Anime, Science Fiction and computers, as well as their common struggles, such as not understanding the subtleties of humor or being able to decipher the complexities of body language.

One young man said that he learned how to raise his eyebrows when other people are talking so that he appears interested during conversation. A common theme is just how badly these participants want to engage with the world around them, but how hard it is for them to grasp even the most fundamental skills needed to interact with others.

The film also touches on the hopes and fears that several of the participants' parents have. On the one hand, some parents feel a sense of pride in seeing how far their children have been able to progress and how much hope they have that their children will be able to become increasingly independent and find a life of meaning and happiness.

On the other hand, the parents are worried about what the world will be like for their adult children when they are gone. The world is not always kind to those who are vulnerable or different. The main therapist working with the film's subjects sums up this anxiety by saying that inviting young people to grow also means inviting them into the trouble that goes with it—hurt, anger and rejection. Indeed, this is one of the main struggles all young adults deal with, but those emotions can be crippling for those with ASD, as they often lack the innate coping skills that their peers take for granted.

The hope for a film like this is that it can shed light on what it means to be human, regardless of abilities or disabilities. Everyone ultimately wants the same thing—to feel accepted and to make connections with others. If we understand just how difficult basic social situations can be for those with ASD, perhaps it can lead us to find compassion for those we have written off as “socially awkward” or “weird.”

[This event is sponsored by the Anne Carlsen Center, Freedom Resource Center, F.E.E.T., Metro Area Mayors Committee, NDSU-Disability Services and CHI-Friendship]

IF YOU GO:

How to Dance in Ohio

Thursday, April 6, 7pm

Fargo Theatre 314 Broadway N, Fargo

Free of charge and open to the public

Recently in:

FARGO – A Somali-American discovered animal feces spread inside his vehicle Monday evening, an incident many believe was a direct threat and a hate crime.Yusuf Mohamed’s car was locked at Maplewood Apartments, 1010 23rd Street,…

It’s pretty easy to tell that Fargo is proud of its Norse heritage. After all, North Dakota is one of the most Norwegian places in the Midwest. Reminders are everywhere, like Stabo in the West Acres Mall or the Sons of Norway.…

Thursday, September 21, 6:30-8:30pmLutheran Social Services, 3911 20th Ave S, FargoDocumentary: the insurmountable challenges facing refugees; an intimate glimpse into daily life at Dadaab camp in Kenya, the largest refugee camp in…

The Little Newspaper That Could turned 24 last week. Although it was without much fanfare, it’s an accomplishment that is without compare in Fargo over the past many decades. We are proud to say the least.HPR is the people’s…

The four horses of the Apocalypse are running wild on the American plainsIn the last book of the New Testament, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride around the world on their red, white, black, and pale horses representing…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

Brand new and satisfying in so many waysI ventured into Tru Blu on Sunday at noon. As soon as I entered I was immediately astonished by the interior. It’s gorgeous! The brown tufted booths and dark wood give the impression that…

Minneapolis-based rock and rollers are turning up the heat, that is to say Lutheran Heat. The band consists of Garth Blomberg on guitar and vocals; Sara Pette, guitar and vocals; Matt Engelstad, bass and vocals; and Justin Nelles…

Cinema

​Controversial epic now on Blu-ray

by Christopher P. Jacobs

With 2017 so far one of the lowest summers for movie attendance this century, the year 1946 was perhaps the all-time peak year of movie attendance, with close to 60% of Americans providing 90 million individual ticket sales,…

Enantiodromia: noun; a principle that states any force will inevitably produce its opposite. After stumbling upon this term in a book about psychoanalyst Carl Jung, artist Ben Rheault discovered the theme for his upcoming exhibit…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Birthdays are always cause for celebration but when your business is beer and it comes time to celebrate another year of bringing delicious, locally crafted brews to your market you better throw a helluva PARTY! Drekkerfest 3 is…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

William Prentice, the slickster CEO of Meridian Energy, which wants to build an oil refinery 2 ½ miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park, blew a bunch of smoke up the ass of a young reporter for The Dickinson Press the other…