In just one week from today Eddie Tuduri will be coming to Tucson to teach a workshop on his amazing program TRAP. I am so excited to have helped make this happen, this is going to be a blast!
I remember the exact moment I met Eddie Tuduri in person. For almost a year our son Benny had been unsuccessfully attending Kindergarten via zoom. I was pretty sure Benny hadn't learned anything from these fruitless zoom classes. He refused to participate in all but the very interactive adaptive PE sessions, and his behaviors had gotten so bad that I could barely get him to put on pants.
We found out about TRAP from a neighbor in Santa Barbara who also had a child with special needs and understood how much we were struggling. Since we were local, Eddie offered to come and work with Benny in person to show us how the program worked. The second he walked in the room with all of his magical rock and roll energy Benny just lit up.
The first lesson in the curriculum addressed a fundamental skill that Benny is still working on, saying your own name. As he tapped out the syllables of his name using the drum, we could see Benny getting visibly excited. The combination of the physical sensation of tapping the drum, the auditory input of hearing the sounds and the visual input of seeing the syllables tapped out, all worked together to help him access this information in a new way.
Benny has apraxia of speech, a motor planning issue between the brain and the muscles required for accurate, reproducible speech. One of the things that helps him to be able to create speech is a physical gesture, so many of the words that he is able to say verbally are ones that he learned early on through sign language as a baby. For Benny, learning through music and movement is so much more effective on so many levels, the TRAP curriculum is perfect for him.
Eddie had developed the TRAP curriculum from his own experience. He was a touring rock and roll musician who created the program after an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. Through force of will and divine intervention Eddie taught himself to walk, talk and play the drums again. Today most people would never suspect that he is a quadriplegic. Despite the fact that he uses a cane Eddie's energy is so unstoppable that this is the last thing most people notice about him.
For over 20 years Eddie has built schools and programs all over the world to help others overcome similar obstacles to achieve their goals.
After moving back to Tucson and becoming frustrated by the lack of options for families of children with special needs, I began to dream of providing something different, something that families with children who did not fit into the typical mold could take advantage of. I began to dream of a school. A school that would include all types of learners. As I started to talk to people about this school, it began to take shape. Soon I had a beautiful space and an entire committee of lovely people from First Christian Church in Tucson working with me to help make this happen.
I called Eddie up and asked him what he thought about bringing TRAP to Tucson as part of my dream of starting an inclusive school. His answer was a resounding "Yes!", and as always his infectious positivity gave me the confidence I needed to start making it happen.
After months of planning the event is almost upon us. Through the generosity of First Christian Church in providing space and some grant funding we are able to cover the costs of the workshop to provide this to the community asking only a small commitment of a $20 donation to TRAP, with scholarships available to those in need.
If you are interested in attending the workshop on May 6th and 7th 2022, please click here for all the details. It's going to be a beautiful event!
Since becoming a mom to a little boy with Trisomy 21 I have written a lot about Down syndrome and disabilities. I am a storyteller, wife and mom to a teen and a toddler. Life is busy!