Niam is a 13 year old boy with autism, minimal speech and comprehension, who can be described as an artist, a autism model, movie junkie, gamer, swimmer, traveller and now a SINGER. Four years back, when I started Niam on his journey of music therapy, I never would have thought or dreamed SINGER could be a word to define my son, a word denoting language development, articulation and voice manipulation.
The doorbell rings, Niam runs to the door to greet his music therapist, Tamara, a person who has given him a voice. Skilled by nature, she greets him with the same enthusiasm, showering him with hugs, kisses, presents and a “You Can Do It Attitude”. She loves Niam as much as he loves her. Don’t get me wrong, Tamara is a no nonsense kind of person, she does not take Niam’s naughtiness and is strict when necessary.
A lot has been written on the topic of Music Therapy and Children with Autism. From my own experience, I can say without a doubt, music therapy has helped Niam manage stress, enhance his memory, improve his communication and help his social development. Niam’s communication is limited, but watching him sing you would never know this about him. He is able to put sentences together, memorize songs, articulate, and have pitch
Tamara uses different strategies to help Niam learn. She uses fill-in’s to help Niam learn the songs, she raises her voice and pitch to help with voice control, uses a reward system for behaviour management and allows Niam to take sensory breaks as required. By adapting to the needs of Niam, Niam has progressed from a struggling student to one who is proud of his accomplishments.
I believe when you believe in your child, provide the right accommodations and have a great supportive team, anything can happen.
*See the original post on www.autismwisdom.com A mother’s journey of a 13 year old child who has autism and is a abstract painter
*Follow Niam on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/niamjainautismartist / and his website www.niamjain.com
*Check out www.able2learn.com for teaching resources for children and youths with autism. You may like one of our free evidence based cooking videos.
For more information about music therapy and to reach Tamara, visit Tamara’s Piano Studio and Music Therapy Services at www.tpsmts.com