At the end of May, we had the opportunity to host the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and their Business After Hours event; an event where professionals from around the community come together to network and mingle. Not only were we honored to host the event, but we turned this into an experience for our adult participants by scheduling it during a Fantastic Friends session, which fits right in with the theme of the program! Fantastic Friends is a fun and purposeful social gathering for adults with Down syndrome, their peers and the community. The program supports the development of social skills and language through peer-to-peer interaction in a casual and fun setting, and that’s exactly what we did!
Tasho arrived at 5PM to start the program in the kitchen where he made appetizers and desserts to share with our guests. Tasho worked hard to put together a delicious bruschetta platter, cutting the tomatoes, toasting the bread, and combining it all for the perfect snack to share with little help from our volunteers. Tasho then went around and networked with each guest, presenting them with his dish and encouraging them to try his recipe. Later he came out with banana pudding parfaits made for each of the guests – there were no leftovers! Tasho can sometimes be shy, want to work alone, or be in a silly mood which doesn’t make conversation flow easily, but this evening Tasho did an amazing job expressing himself and the pride in his work.
Later that evening, our Site Manager received a text message from Tasho’s mother stating, “Tasho had a great time serving all those people. Thank you!” She was so happy to observe him using his words and communicating and stated it warmed her heart so much to see him interact in that way, but to also see everyone be so accepting of him.