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Ballet Helps Girl with Autism Connect

December 26, 2013

Like many families do this time of year, The Bergs of Toronto, Canada recently went to a performance of The Nutcracker. The Bergs have attended a lot of ballet peformances throughout the year thanks to 11-year-old Clara Bergs' passion for the art form. Clara has autism and is mostly nonverbal and ballet has opened a lot of doors for her. It all started in Septemeber of 2012 when one of Clara's care workers posted a video of her dancing along with a ballet she liked to watch over and over again (video below).  Clara's parents didn't even know she could dance. The video garnered global attention and more than 600,000 views on Youtube.

Aside from autism, Clara also has DiGeorge Syndrome, a genetic disorder with a wide array of symptoms like learning disabilities, mild facial deformities and a poor immune response. Since the video went viral, Clara and her family have received donations from strangers for Clara's treatments and have been invited to attend many ballet performances. Earlier this year, Clara fell while dancing and had to be in a wheelchair for a month but Clara didn't let the incident affect her passion. She was back in ballet slippers as soon as she was well enough and next year Clara will take the stage. Canadian organization, Kerry's Place Autism Services is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a party in 2014 where Clara is slated to perform.