Aislinn, who is non-verbal and has Autism, has been part of the Friendship Circle family since the earliest days; she was 4 when her parents first brought her to the Sunday drop-in program for two hours of social engagement each week.
As services began to expand, Aislinn participated in a few programs each year, among them cooking, dance, running, and an annual teen trip to Cedar Point. Friendship Circle became a second home for Aislinn’s entire family. Still, Aislinn’s parents worried about her future. What would happen when Aislinn finished school? Would she be home all day with nothing to do?
“We did not know what was inside of Aislinn, how she would express herself, or how to help her tap into it.,” Tali says.
The Wendrows were delighted when Friendship Circle invited Aislinn into a pilot art program for young adults with special needs. That pilot became the catalyst for the Soul Studio Art Program.
Today, 22 years later, Aislinn has found a way to express herself through art. She has created beautiful, vibrant paintings and weavings that have been featured during Soul Studio exhibits. Along the way, Aislinn has developed meaningful friendships with other artists and volunteers.
“She is much more confident and comfortable in her own skin,” Tali says proudly. “Art connects her to other people. The Soul Studio has opened the floodgates to Aislinn’s creativity.”
-Wendrow Family, Soul Studio