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natunix
natunix asks:
Q:

Aspergers and music aptitude... finding other children with the same interest

Do any of you have an aspie child who thrives on music?  My son has a natural talent when it comes to music, but he is 7 and there are not a lot of programs aimed at special needs children that move past basic music concepts.  He is currently in music therapy and he attends drum lessons, which he loves, bu tI cannot find many other programs for him where he can be around aother kids who love, live and breathe music.  He knows his theory, has perfect pitch, plays by ear and is currently learning to read music.  He is too advanced for the other children right now in music therapy to work in a group setting and isn't quite ready to be in a typical setting due to his constant questions and tangents...has anyone found any avenues for their children to continue their musical growth while making friends at the same time?
In Topics: Creative arts, Autism & Aspergers Syndrome
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Aug 7, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I agree, music therapy is often a great avenue for a child with Aperger's Syndrome to find common ground with other children.  

May I suggest that you look in to some groups where parents often share their information in the context of their children being on the spectrum?

http://www.TheCoffeeKlatch  This is a group of parents and professionals all who share and learn from each other

http://www.OurJourneyThruAutism  This is a group of parents who help others through education and information sharing

"Listen to Me Please" by Ava Parnass. This is a psychotherapist who uses music and social stories to help children.  Also, a great discussion book for parents to help their children. http://www.listentomeplease.com/index.htm

Good Luck!

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Additional Answers (6)

SamanthaDunham
SamanthaDun... writes:
Hi Natalie. My nephew is an aspie child who excels at piano. He is 15 now, but from the time he was 3 he was all over any musical instrument he could get his hands on. What his family did was enroll him in music therapy and lessons, which were one on one, and then got him involved in a children's orchestra that they found by going to the library and looking up community programs. While he did have some struggles at first, he did manage to socialize and make friends over time. Naturally, as you know, every aspie child is different, but I thought I'd share our experience with you. It may be that doing a dual program like this might help you?<br />
> 60 days ago

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Hildegarde
Hildegarde writes:
My 6 1/2 year old aspie son is exactly the same.  He is learning to play violin, but is picking up other instruments and playing the music on everything.  I have signed him up for private lessons, because he outpaces any group.   It would be GREAT to have a friend like your son.  We live in the Washington DC region.  What region do you live in?
> 60 days ago

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piccthepicc
piccthepicc writes:
I personally am an Aspie and a music major. I have been told that I have a natural ear and can pick up any instrument instantaneously. I would see if his music teacher can do a weekly jam session, that way he can socialize and do what he loves, or maybe get him into a group piano class or see if there is a music academy near where you are
> 60 days ago

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Lis47
Lis47 writes:
My 6 Yr old is similar. He wishedfor a violin from Santa when he was 3! His choice!!
We do private violin lessons - private lessons let himgo at his own pace withoutthe stress of the others in the group and what they are doing.

I am not sure if we will switch instruments or add another at some point - violin was his choice. Not sure if it's the bestfor an aspie?
> 60 days ago

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Marie1017
Marie1017 writes:
HI
I have the same thing going on - Tyler just turned 14 but has played the guitar since 9 (and the bass, Acoustic electric piano sings)  but the Electric  Guitar is where he is thriving.  He blew threw 3  beginner teachers several years ago, and now hears a song, figures it out with in the evening and knows it from then on.   Our days are at the library getting 10 CDs at a time and he loads them onto his ipod.  
He is desperate for someone with like interests.  It is so hard - and music lessons are $22 for 30 minutes,   most of which he spends telling a story about a musician or other facts.  He recently practiced and played a fundraising event with a band of 50 year old men.  Loved it, but now what.  He needs to find kids within 10 years of himself , right?
SO -- We thanks for putting that out there Natunix - we are in Billerica, MA  and need this too.   Whenever I run into a mom with an Aspie, I ask  "what's His/Her  "Thing"
> 60 days ago

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Xorion
Xorion , Parent writes:
My son has aspergers and started playing the violin when he was four years old. He is 17 now and has incredible talent. We started him in a program using the Suzuki method. It was prettty clear right at the beginning that he would do well as he picked things up much faster than the other kids his age. It is amazing because I have aspergers and zero musical ability. My wife is a neurotypical and her family has a number of musicians in it. The Suzuki program requires that one parent spend a lot of one-on-one time with the student. My wife was incredibly dedicated to our son and worked very hard with him. As you can imagine this was not easy for her but she perservered until he could finally work on his own, about age 14. My wife still goes to his music lessons and she often must prod him to practice. The parent who works with the Suzuki student does not have to be a musician. My wife has musical talent but it was never developed. Over the years it also gets expensive. The first violin was $300, the second $700, the third $1500, the fourth $4000. Usually the store you buy them from will give you one-half your cost when you trade up. His last professional level instrument will be $20,000. The annual cost of lessons in the beginning is about $2000 per year but now he also goes to summercamps which adds a couple thousand more, he is in training for qurtets another $1500 and he plays with a youth symphony another $1500.

Hope this helps.
> 60 days ago

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