Family Profile: Amber Dorko Stopper

Who are you?

My name is Amber Dorko Stopper and I have two children: Claudia (daughter), 11 and Béla (son), also 11. We live in South Philadelphia where my children have been homeschooled for the last three years.

Tell us what makes you extra awesome!

My passion is night parades. My creative partner is both autistic and a neuroscientist. After years of helping teach mask workshops and encourage community rituals, I spoke at Oxford University about the specific challenges of processional arts and autism. Now, my partner and I are working together with a grant from the Philadelphia Autism Project. We co-host or volunteer for events and invite people on the spectrum to work with us and help us communicate what would make events like parades, rituals, and rallies more sensory-accommodating. If the events themselves cannot be made more accommodating, we are looking at the technology necessary to create remote access so that preparing for and participating in these events does not have to be a “zero sum game” and that they are truly available to everyone.

What are your kids doing that is super cool?

My kids value inclusion and are usually involved with any of our processional projects (including a recent science fair/rock concert that included a giant tardigrade puppet, as a welcome event for Extinction Rebellion Philadelphia.) Both my son and daughter are long-time students of Philly’s School of Rock Performance program, and my daughter is part of the Omo Kulu Mele dance troupe.

Why do you call the Philadelphia area home and what makes it a special place to raise tweens?

Right now, Philly is great-sized city to be a tween; my kids are learning to walk to stores, coffee shops, and the library; next up is learning to take the bus!

How can we learn more about your project?

Our Project with the Philly AP is on Facebook. Some heavier academic stuff as well as personal family posts are online at https://potentiationparade.com/.