Everybody loves to make music. That’s why The Kennedy Center, a leading provider of high quality comprehensive program services for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),  has launched something new and innovative for the region.

For the first time, The Kennedy Center is forming music groups at Shelton Intermediate School for beginning and/or experienced middle school and high school musicians with autism and their peers. Students from Shelton and the surrounding towns in the lower Naugatuck Valley are encouraged to participate.

Students will have a chance to learn a variety of band instruments (drums, keyboard, guitar and bass) and play and perform in a rock group. All instruments will be provided. Classes will be held on Wednesday afternoons, starting on October 3 and will be grouped by age, experience and ability.

Generous scholarship assistance is also available. This program is being supported by the Katharine Matthies Foundation.

The curriculum will address development of music and social skills. Classes will be taught by Dr. Kimberly McCord, Professor of Music Education through an innovative, flexible approach called Figurenotes. Dr. McCord has taught at Illinois State University and is currently teaching at Central Connecticut State University.

Twelve years ago, The Kennedy Center started The Autism Project with the simple recognition that a growing number of children with autism were facing a shortage of available and accessible program supports.  

The Autism Project offers the following program services to children and their families in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, including:


  • Ongoing social activity groups for children and young adults, teaching age-appropriate social, communication and life skills.

  • Transition programs for high school students including T.O.P.S Transition Opportunities for Post Secondary Success at Fairfield University.

  • Family programs for respite and parent/caregiver & sibling support.

  • Recreation and Enrichment programs, including programs in the arts, science, cooking, and Healing Water's Swimming Lessons.

  • Workshops and Assistance with information on services and resources for both families and professionals.

  • Other needed programs and services, such as in-home behavioral services, after-school, summer and transitional programs, and professional trainings.


For more information, contact Ariel Ciofalo at aciofalo@kennedyctr.org or 203-332-4535 ext. 258 or Wendy Bloch at wbloch@kennedyctr.org or 203-332-4535 ext. 227.