Imagine not being able to speak or communicate with your loved ones. What if you were only able to express yourself through actions and not words?
For the average person, just getting across basic ideas would be a huge challenge. But 20 year old Phillip Martin-Nelson, who was diagnosed with the most severe form of autism at a very young age, now stars in a premier ballet company. For the very first three years of his life he could not speak or tolerate the touch of another person, let alone sharing eye contact.
He now thanks dance and claims that it saved his life, stating that he would have never been able to live on his own or take care of himself without it. Growing up, his parents put him in sports and gymnastics and when he finally was able to speak, Martin-Nelson told them that he wanted to dance. He says that by learning to dance, his parents saw him focus and become excited about what he was doing for the first time.
With that being said, dance affected every aspect of his life to the point where he even spent his lunch time playing music and dancing.
Today he is a principal dancer at Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male dance company. He cannot stress enough the big impact that dancing has had in his life.
“If I didn’t have ballet, if I never stepped into that first ballet class I probably would have never recovered, Martin Nelson said in an interview with MyFoxNY. “I would probably still be in special schools to this day and trying to just get by.”
The young man gives a big thanks to his therapists and other support systems for helping him to get where he is today.
Therapy plays a big role in the lives of children that have autism. Observing and noticing not only your child’s needs, but also their interests and passions can change their lives and take a whole new direction.