Thursday, April 14, 2005

Opera through a window

A couple of years ago, I heard my daughter's young stepmother sing one of her operatic pieces through an open window. It sounded like a Philip Glass' adaptation to an Edgar Allen Poe piece (I'll never forget "The Fall of the House of Usher" at the American Rep Theater in Boston -- Glass' heaviness and complexities and haunting refrains made me happy and understood in a bizarre way. It was expressing that side of life that rarely is expressed. Loved it.)
Anyway, today, when I'm thinking about what parenting an Asperger syndrome child is like, I was taken back to that long serious heavy vocal through the window as a point of comparison, which took me to a memory of Philip Glass' work, which brought me to a description of his music (, ) which made me sit up and say, "Yes! Yes! Asperger syndrome in my son feels like this!" Funny how things interlink. This article says that Glass' music "remained structurally sparse, using few chord changes. Instead of long developmental sections, which had been normal with 'serious' music, there were increasingly complex repetitions and overlapping of lines. "
Asperger, a mild form of autism, affects the development of a child primarily through social interaction, but also through physical development; the development is sparse, repetitive, and overlaps instead of moves out to tell the regular-paced story with the predictable buildup and flourishing end (well, okay, the hopeful flourishing end).
So, yesterday, when he cleared the dirt heap at age 10 (he learned to ride bike at 9; still working on tying his shoes; can't button a shirt yet), it was a moment of celebration for sure. And, today, when the pediatrician said that he looked like a totally different kid since the homeschooling decision in January, I felt like doing a hurkey (okay, do you know what a toe touch jump is, then?:). It was very cool to be affirmed after such a hard day on Tuesday.
Parenting an A/S kid does have its rewarding moments!

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