M is for Music
In the presence of music, A2 is the conduit that paints the musical mural that you cannot see just by listening. It is a source of joy, excitement, passion and communication for him. Though A2 has a high desire to communicate his speech/language disorder makes it very difficult if not impossible sometimes to do so. A symptom of his Autism is Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Communication disorders that involve speech directly are a common issue for many children on the spectrum. A2 often knows what he wants to say, but cannot make his mouth follow the step by step instructions his brain wants him to in order to form sounds, sentences or ideas. This is a motor planning difficulty. There are phonological errors, jargoning and word finding problems and oral-motor weakness in addition that prohibit him from effectively communicating verbally. In addition to the 6 hours a week he receives of Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy and social skills training, A2 also receives Music therapy. Through music, he is learning how to say our names, his address and phone number. Music is his best friend, his motivator and his unique yet universal connection to everyone around him.