Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘music

Sensory to Supernatural

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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.

 

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I’m a Belieber

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Justin Bieber performing at the Conseco Fieldh...

Justin Bieber performing at the Conseco Fieldhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My kids are musical.  I don’t mean this in the sense that they are prodigies- then don’t even play instruments.  Pudding seems to get her musical tone from me (alas), but Cubby can carry a tune.  They enjoy music and it is a big part of their lives.

There may be something about the rhythm that helps Pudding to learn.  She still says her ABCs through the alphabet song, and that is also the way she learned her days of the week.  We sing silly songs to each other with her name in them- music is just another tool for me to engage my children.

Both children have auditory processing dysfunction, so we have tried various therapeutic listening approaches to try and help, but haven’t seen much improvement in that respect.  They don’t always enjoy modified music, but they do enjoy listening to regular music, and making their own (kind of).

In our previous car we had a CD player, and inevitably played two CDs the whole time.  One was mostly nursery rhymes, other kids songs, and the odd bit of Elmo- this was Cubby’s choice.  Pudding prefers female voices, so her CD featured Feist, The Carpenters and ABBA.

Our current car (though not for much longer) only has a cassette deck, so we listen to the radio instead.  A lot of the music gives me a headache, but the kids prefer it to silence.  Still, one of the presenters has a really nice voice, so even when he reads bad news, it sounds good.

I noticed a few weeks ago that Pudding has developed a couple of new artists to her repertoire.  She sings along (kind of) with Adele and Nicki Minaj.  It is interesting to me that she only likes female voices, and I think a big part of her fearing men / preferring women is that deeper voices are disturbing to her sound sensitivity.

Two weeks ago, we were in the car and a song came on that has been played a lot here over the last few weeks: Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend.”  Cubby began singing along with it, which was the first time he’d shown a preference for a song that wasn’t a rhyme.  When we came inside, he was still singing, so of course I joined in with him.  Even if I prefer my Justins of the Timberlake variety- this particular song is pretty catchy.

I love that they are both finding their own personal style, and learning how to express themselves in all the many ways we human beings can.

Last week we were in the queue to get some medicine from the pharmacy, when the loudspeaker switched on.  Normally loudspeakers (and fireworks) are the enemy for Cubby.  But lo and behold, on comes the Justin Bieber song.  To the amusement of the other customers, he announces with delight:

“Mummy, it’s our song!”

And it is wonderful, because this is him using music to engage with me.  This is social reciprocity, and I’ll take it any way it comes.  I never thought I’d say it, but I suppose that makes me a Belieber.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

June 26, 2012 at 10:08 am