NaBloPoMo 19: Music and autism

Now that I’m having a day that does not involve a performance to go to, I have time to write a longer blog post again. And since I went to the performances, I have something to write about too.

First, a little backstory: my mom is a teacher at a special education school, and she mainly teaches autistic kids. She has been doing this since before I was born, so besides my own home and school, I learned about people at her school. I had my own peers, and I had a bunch of other kids around that were on a different level than I was. It’s no secret that I was a gifted student from an early age either, which meant I often saw all three parts of the bell curve. But the best part of this is how much it allowed me to understand people. Whereas many of my peers would look down upon those with the Autism Spectrum Disorder, I came to see them for their brilliance just as their families should or do, as we all should.

And now for my particular anecdote, which admittedly isn’t going to be much longer than the backstory. During the first performance this weekend, which was the band concert, there was a boy in front of us with autism. His tendencies were not very prominent, but the only one we noticed the most was rocking—most of the time during all of the performances, he was rocking forward and backward in his seat, a common sign of autism. At intermission, his mom apologized to us, thinking this had bothered us, but we explained it was not a problem at all and my own mom added that she teaches at a special ed school.

But the best part of all of this is how he was rocking. The boy was rocking forward and backward on the beat. Being musically inclined, I found this fascinating. I wish I could write something more profound about how great I found this to be, but I can’t think of what to say. The point is, I think it’s wonderful that music and rhythm can be found in a person that, though many people may think they’re not intelligent (which I do not believe), their minds are still capable of rhythm and music. And did I mention how big of a smile was on his face? His smile doubled when his sister came onstage.

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