Sensory to Supernatural
About a month ago, I went to see Cubby’s teacher for his report. Now, Cubby is 4 and only in preschool, and I’m not really sure we should be doing reports, but this is the way of the school, so we do. Actually, it is a good time to catch up with the teacher and address any concerns. Cubby gets speech and OT during school hours, and the therapists send me weekly reports, and on the whole he is doing well.
On the whole he is doing well at school too. He has a couple of areas of brilliance, and a couple of areas of all-too-familiar struggles. For the most part, there was nothing new. This teacher likes Cubby and handles his eccentricities and active imagination very well. Only one thing she said actually surprised me: he wasn’t participating in music class.
Cubby loves music. He is musical. Even in his sleep he makes harmonic noises. He loves to sing, and he can identify all the popular songs that come on the radio. When I told him my friend had written the music for one of the songs we heard on the radio, he became convinced that all music was made by our family and friends. He doesn’t always let me sing, but he certainly enjoys to do so himself. My dad plays guitar in a band, and Cubby tells me he will be a rock star too. He struts and dances like a Jagger-Mercury hybrid, so it wouldn’t surprise me.
But telling me he won’t participate in music class? That surprises me. Cubby being quiet? Surprises me even more.
I wondered if he just didn’t like the choice of rhymes. If the teacher played Maroon 5, Fun or (eek) Bon Jovi, she’d surely see another side to him.
Or would she?
Cubby was singing at the dinner table some South African song I wasn’t familiar with, and I guessed he’d heard it at school. I asked him why he didn’t sing in music class, and his response shouldn’t have come as a surprise to a seasoned spectrummy mummy. He loves hearing himself sing, but the other kids sing “different.” I guess some of his classmates-like me- sing different notes (okay, off-key), and he just can’t stand it. He told me he really didn’t like music class, and didn’t want to go any more.
We had a little chat about how problems have solutions, and if something is hard for him, he can always tell us so we can look for ways to make it better.
I suggested he wear his blue head ‘cones’ to protect his ears, and he was so enthused with this idea that he was wearing them the next morning before even setting off for school. I emailed the OT for her suggestions (that would be another round of Therapeutic Listening) and pulled them from his head to tuck in his backpack.
And then came the next problem: without the protection he could hear ghosts, vampires and zombies. But problems have solutions, I just need to shift the battle from sensory to supernatural.