Let the Music Play!

As parents and caregivers of kids on the spectrum or any special need, we are often motivated, guided, or pushed toward focusing on those target skills our kids are lacking. We are often caught up in therapies, tutoring or trying to catch up to whatever norm “they” deem deficient in our children.

How different would our kid’s lives be if we could instead focus on their positives instead of always trying to compensate for those things regarded as negatives?

My youngest has generally struggled with school. He works hard. Really, really hard just to pass his classes which is especially frustrating as his older brother excels in school. Lan was very disappointed when his brother and childhood friends were off to the Magnet school and he simply could not join them.

However, Lan does have a talent for music in which his brother has been unable to best him. Both boys play piano along with other instruments. Yet, Lan has been gifted with “perfect pitch” something most musicians would love to have. Unlike other things that are difficult for him, anything musical comes much easier with a joy that surprisingly spreads to the people around him.

I started Lan in piano lessons as my version of occupational therapy. When he began writing in preschool, his fingers weren’t quite as strong as they should be. Piano lessons strengthened fingers that struggled to hold a pencil. Best of all, Lan enjoyed the lessons. Now, these same fingers draw intricate cartoon characters with very little effort. By focusing on what he could do, the door opened for another talent to emerge as well!DSC_7293 (2)

The more I hear incredible stories about so many kids on the spectrum and their thoughts, gifts and talents; the more I believe that everyone has something to give. Some people bring positive qualities out in others. Then there are others also on the spectrum blessed with things us “neurotypicals” can only dream of, skills or talents that often amaze and leave others speechless.

If only the time we spend during the school year striving to meet “goals” designated by other people, (I’m still trying to figure out who they are) could be used to cultivate those gems that lie dormant within, I wonder how many “atypicals” could more positively impact our world?

There are people whose gifts go unearthed because as a society we don’t prioritize searching those talents out. Instead we hammer people to conform.

I’ve seen a few miracles in the health care realm. I’m optimistic I’ll see many more with God’s grace and His power. The advances in science and technology lead me to believe there is so much more yet unseen. But we have to look for it!

So until “they” decide to focus on the person and not on an arbitrary set of goals and “normal” is designated for the individual instead of the masses, I will continue to encourage kids to search out and nurture the talents God gave them.  DSC_1350 (2)

If we don’t make searching out God’s gifts within our kids a priority, if we don’t build them up so they can unearth the beauty within and give them a sense of pride in what they can do instead of continually emphasizing what they can’t…who will?

As for me and my crew, we will continue to let the music play.

“The LORD [is] my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.” Psalms 28:7 NKJV 

  

 

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12 thoughts on “Let the Music Play!”

  1. I love all you write so much, but I forget to check this section out! How are things going with you and your family? Bless all of you, and may Lan find his way to success in this life. He has God’s special love I’m sure of that!

    Bless you all, Lilka…
    Steve 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much Steve. Yes, the autism blog doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as this site but it is dear to me nonetheless. We are actually well on this end. My boys are enjoying their summer and being spoiled by their grandparents.!

      Lan will begin studying graphic arts when school resumes in July (we have year round school in my county). Lan appears to have some talents in that area so that’s what we’re working on.

      He is definitely blessed and loved through other angels God has placed in our lives. We are very grateful to those who pray and support us.

      thanks so much for asking! 🙂

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      1. Wow, that’s great! I like the idea of year round school, actually. I think it helps kids keep better “school/education habits.” Now if they’d just let God back into the school systems…

        You know, I loved graphic arts in high school. To show you how long ago that was, however, I ran what was called a “Line-o-type” machine! I dare anyone to find one of those things in the world today!

        Great to hear about Lan…and that your entire family is well. Just keep up the obvious great job you and your husband are doing as a family unit. The men in your life are very lucky to have you, Lilka…

        Enjoy your weekend and we’ll talk again soon.
        Steve 🙂

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  2. Love this! It certainly is our duty as parents to study our children, and nuture the abilities within them. Thanks for sharing so much wisdom.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post and the books! God and the Garden will probably come out in a second edition with more devotions in addition to pictures from my garden. Another work in progress…

      Thanks so much for the support. Would you be interested in writing something for this blog for Father’s Day? 🙂

      I certainly can’t speak from a father’s point of view. The invitation is always open.

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  3. When I taught kids “on the spectrum,” this was my philosophy! I hate the constant focus on deficits! Each day, I would write a note in the “communication book” that went back and forth with the student. I would always write something positive. Doesn’t every human being thrive more when complimented rather than criticized? BTW, I love the word “neurotypical.”

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    1. Thanks for taking time to stop by and taking time to comment! I’m sure I got the term “neurotypical” from another blog somewhere along the line. Hope there’s no copyright on that!

      If only more teachers would follow your philosophy it could relieve a bit of frustration and angst that many kids suffer from simply in going to school.

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  4. You are a wonderful Mom to bring out these amazing gifts in your son Lilka, and with an added bonus too! So very encouraging for all those with children on the spectrum. So many amazing gifts to be discovered 🙂

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    1. Sherri, I suspect we only get a glimpse of what these kids are really capable of doing. I am yet optimistic that we will one day be able to peel back the layers and see the beauty that lies within all kids.

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