Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Drove My Chevy to the Levee and Found That the Music Did not Die

Yesterday was M & M day....  Music therapy and McDonalds.  It's been a staple in our schedule for years.  "Mr. Craig" recently came across our initial paperwork from April 2005.

Wow.... forever doesn't even come close to describing that amount of time.  We were literally different people back then.  Thus, it doesn't even seem like our lifetime ago....

Creative Exchange Music Therapy Clinic in Westchester, Illinois ( is where you'll find us on those days that will end up with dinner in a bag.  Sean will be in back with Mr. Craig and I'll be in the front waiting room, sitting in a chair that it way too comfortable, with the girls reading books or watching them play with the toys. 

The last couple of sessions I've noticed a change in how Sean and Mr. Craig interact.  I don't want to say it's more "adult" because that word has always seemed so stodgy to me.  Rather, it's like buds in a jam session.  It's pretty cool to experience....

We began therapy there because Sean was sensitive to others making noise and yet, he could be the loudest one of all.  Silent car rides.  Whispers.  He didn't even want us speaking in our own home.  It wasn't fair to his sister to insist on silence.

Sean also was stuck in the pattern of going all the way to the beginning of his monologue (his version of a conversation) if he made a mistake with the wording.  Some of them were 15 minutes or more in length!  He would stop and begin again and again.

One the things that Mr. Craig does is play the piano with the kids.  He has everything colour-coded so it's quite simple.  He has the child play a  melody and then he would play the harmony.  The challenging thing for Sean was not only to hear the noise but to deal with messing up the fingering on the piano.  Sean always wanted to go back to the beginning but Mr. Craig continued to play on.  Soon Sean learned that he needed to play on as well.....

The lesson that he learned at the piano translated into our lives at home.  The constant going back in Sean's speech has not completely gone away - he tends to do it when he's stressed and/or really trying to push a point - but it has dramatically fallen off.

And, of course, we can talk!!!! 

Through various other exercises, Sean's stamina has improved as well as his rigidness.  Gone are the days where he would scream and cry throughout the entire session.  My husband can now even take him to therapy (against routine!!!) and Sean will have a good day.

There is music and noise in our lives once again and we have Mr. Craig to thank.  He was able to break through the hard shell and get to the sweet stuff inside.

So thanks Craig, for making a difference.....

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