Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spring Concert Success!

Last night Daniel had his spring band concert. This is such a huge thing for him. I am AMAZED at what he produces. He wants band so very much he really pulls it together and does things he can't normally do on a regular day. What I mean is, he got there at 5:50 p.m. and got on stage with the 6th grade band for practice. We had all of his music, so I thought. Come to find out they needed their book too. NO ONE TOLD ME THAT? And Daniel either won't communicate that kind of thing or he's in another world when they say it and he has no idea. I think it's the later. He didn't freak out and his "best friend Jonas" (as he says!) jumped right in and said he could use his because he knew it by heart. They both play in bass clef because Jonas is trombone and Daniel plays the baritone. Daniel took this very calmly. If it was during school he'd be very upset and insist someone go get his book.

They practiced then filed off stage and sat through and entire 5th grade practice and then the 5th graders started the concert. He probably sat for an hour, quietly, appropriately, with his baritone and music. I had taken a seat by where I thought they'd be sitting that whole time, but the band teacher changed it from last time! I have recently met a principal from the other 5/6 school in our district and he was hanging out by the kids to keep them quiet. I gave him a heads up about Daniel's autism and asked him to give me a signal if he needed help. Plus I thought it might be a good idea if Daniel was fidgeting then this principal would know to maybe handle things a bit differently. I don't know this principal very well, but from what I've seen I've been VERY impressed! It ended up being totally unnecessary, but I completely live on the idea that it is better to be over prepared and it made me feel better!

As it was the 6th graders turn to perform I secretly wondered if he'd need help carrying all of that stuff onto the stage and getting settled. I was looking for him in the audience only to look up on stage and see him getting into his seat before the other grade was even off the stage! He was so excited!! On the way to the concert he kept saying, "when I'm on stage I must be silent!" His way of reminding himself to be quiet. (because for those of you without kids on the spectrum there is a clear difference from being quiet and being silent. Quiet means whispering is ok, silent means silent!) He constantly talks to himself, usually fairly quietly, but on stage it's a no no and he DOES IT. I find it amazing. It also let's me know he CAN do it and I have hopes that someday it will carry over to other situations.

They performed beautifully. I am so very thankful for the things people do to help make band possible for him. It is a wonderful social connection AND it really boosts his self image. Both such important things for all kids, but I think even more so for Daniel. Here are a few pics of my proud baritone player who, by the way, at age 12 is wearing his fathers shoes and belt!

Great Job Daniel. We are so very proud of you!


Laura Grace said...

Way to go, Daniel!!

Amy said...

What a huge accomplishment. I am beginning to think that music is an entry way for lots of people to test out ans achieve goals. The photos are great.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Wonderful! Yay, Daniel! Both of you have so much to be proud of!