Monday, March 8, 2010

Music and Asperger's

My now 16 year old son has had little interest in music most of his life. A tragedy in our family as everyone else likes music. I don't know if it is normal for Asperger's kids to not have much interest in music or not, but it has seemed the only explanation in a family that loves music. My husband plays piano and guitar. I once played clarinet, piano and sang in the choir in High School. My middle daughter has hummed and sung since she was able to, often driving her older brother to distraction. My younger daughter also loves music.

The only music my son has ever seemed to have much interest in was music from his video games (he LOVES the theme from Luigi's Mansion) some movies(Shrek) and sometimes other songs he has grown used to after much repetition. When he learned to like the music of the Beatles it seemed like a triumph.

Yesterday I was playing "Coward" by Vic Chesnutt on my iPod in the car and I noticed that he had a strange look on his face. I asked him what was up and he said in a surprised voice "I like that song. It is good. It made pictures in my head, I could see a battlefield." He'd only heard the song twice so that was big for him!

He told me that for years he heard all the different parts of the music, the guitar and drums would be separate, the bass on its own, the singer yet another part.  It'd drive him nuts trying to put it all together in his head so he just didn't want to even try.  Gradually the music in video games got a little more complex and unconsciously he started putting the pieces together.  Listening to the Vic Chesnutt song and seeing the pictures in his head was like the final piece of the puzzle.

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