Thursday, December 4, 2008

See, Now THIS is Why I Like Being a Music Therapist

I have to admit that I started out today in a bad mood.  For the second day in a row I got stuck (on my way to work) driving behind a slow-moving vehicle (complete with the orange upside triangle and everything), and I just plain had a bad attitude going on.  

It took me a while to get RI to realize who I was and that I was trying to find out if he wanted to go to his session.  He finally realized this, and he decided he was going to go with me.  Then I had to get a coat on him.  I was relieved when he had decided to let go of the backpack (whose straps he had been busy flapping) until L decided to be "helpful" and hand the bag back to RI (who, by that time, was busy flapping the zipper pulls on his coat).  "Thanks, L."  This, of course, meant working on RI all over again, because he tends to lose focus rather rapidly, to help him remember "we're going to music therapy.  Let's leave the backpack here for now."  

OK, so I finally got him to put the bag down again (with a warning look to L to stay back, damn it).  I figure this is our chance to escape.  Never mind that the day area is blasting with music on the TV, different music on the radio, people shouting back and forth to each other, et cetera amen.  Nothing like trying to help a person with sensory and processing issues to understand what we're trying to do in that kind of madness (crikey, if I lived there I'd probably be in restraints most of the day).

Then I was trying to hurry RI along a bit, because he walks very slowly (the flapping continues as we walk, and it is augmented by great long pauses to watch various vehicles trundle by). Generally, as long as the weather's not bad, I don't mind walking slowly with him, but it was cold, and it was starting to rain, and he refused to keep his hood on his head and did I mention I was having a bad attitude today?

So we finally got to the Music Room, and I was certain I was going to scream when RI very specifically dumped his coat on the floor. We grumped at each other without specifically grumping at each other for a while (RI doesn't really use speech exactly, it's more of a thing I've heard speech therapists call "jargon speech," where he sounds as if he's having a conversation, but his words are not clear at all- it may be how he processes speech- I don't know.  Anyway, he does have a fine ear for vocal inflections).

Then we started to play a song (at this late hour, I can't remember what song it was), and we hit a groove.  He was able to follow me, and I was able to follow him (I think it was "Carwash"), and when the song was over, he suddenly clapped his hands with great enthusiasm and shouted "Yaaaaay!"  And in that moment, I laughed joyfully with him, and my attitude was finally gone. Then we made music together.


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