Saturday, January 2, 2010

Austism and Opera

On New Year's Eve one of our neighbors had a party from 5-8pm to celebrate Greenwhich Mean Time New Year's, which was 7:00pm local time. There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood so it was a great way to all get together, have a countdown and still all make it to bed by 10.

One of our neighbors has a 13 year old daughter who has autism and severe learning disabilities. I was hanging out with her and a 6 year old girl just being silly, then I asked if they wanted to hear a song. We were on a back porch with a closed sliding glass door. I didn't sing very loudly, just a few lines of Una Donna and then they started to laugh. The 13 year old threw her head back and laughed and laughed. When she calmed down I asked her what made her laugh. She said it was because it was so high. I asked if she liked it and she said, "YES!!!" Then the other girl demanded, "Sing more!! Sing!!!" and the older girl chimed in. Alex was there too. I sang bits and pieces and put my hands on their arms when I sang. Then the younger girl demanded that I sing it again and touch her arm at the same time. Ok... why? She said because it feels good, and the music feels good when I'm touching her when I sing. The older girl's father was there and he said that she has always been responsive to music. However they've never thought to play opera for her. I invited her over to sing with me and gave my number to her parents. I hope they do call - I had fun playing with the girls, and I'd love it if listening to opera could get a response out of their daughter.

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