Saturday, April 11, 2009

Video Killed the Radio Star

Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. . . Luke 2:19
The Treasure
On the way to a restaurant where I scarfed down some decadent shrimp and grits for Good Friday dinner, the ride in the car was one of those things to treasure and ponder in my heart. I was sitting in the back seat with Pamela, and she started singing Video Killed the Radio Star. One of the new things Pamela has started doing lately is singing for the fun of it! Sometimes, she sings the whole song on her own, but at other times, we echo back and forth (one person taking lead and the other doing the backup vocals). Even though the words are a bit garbled, she delivers the intonation, pitch, and rhythm with spot-on accuracy. This time, she pretended to hold a microphone whenever she sang the male part and then pulled away the mike for the back-up vocals. She even did the instruments in between the vocals. Watching Pamela sing for the sheer joy of it was absolutely priceless!

Today, on the way to the health food store with their grandparents and brother, David recorded Pamela singing for about a minute. On the way home, she sang more songs using an empty single-serving bottle of soy milk as her mike but we were enjoying her singing too much to spoil it by recording her. She sang bits and pieces from "The Hallelujah Chorus," "One-Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall," "Over the Meadow and Through the Woods," "Tequilla," "Next Thing You Know (Thirteen)," and "Made to Love"--talk about eclectic:


The Pondering
Singing is dear to my heart because I have been involved in some sort of music, off and on, most of my adult life. From early on, I recognized Pamela's accurate pitch and pleasant voice and pushed her into musical activities. I figured that she had enough ability to get her through rough spots socially. Once we delved into RDI, I understood my mistake of being too instrumental about singing with Pamela. She had skill and ability but completely missed out of the joy of music, what RDI calls experience sharing, which one consultant describes as follows:
Experience sharing involves sharing a part of oneself with a partner. It is the reason we desire and enjoy the company of others. Gutstein concluded that what he had been working on with his patients was an instrumental style of development, and what was being left out was experience sharing. With this understanding Gutstein began to understand autism as a range of neurological disorders that children are born with, which collectively interfere with the type of information processing that makes Experience Sharing so simple for the rest of us. Autistic people are not able to link their own feelings and experiences to the continuing stream of emotional information that surrounds them. This limits both their capacity to perceive others' emotions, and to enjoy and participate with others in a meaningful way, as well as their ability to, think creatively and flexibly.
About eighteen months ago, I let Pamela drop out of all formal music activities and decided to let development and desire dictate when and if to go back to them. She had to work too hard in such settings and never felt completely competent, even though people kindly encouraged her. Lately, her dynamic singing voice has emerged: she sings often for no reason at all. I just love listening to her music waft through the house. Hearing her sing in the car today gave me a preview of what might be in store for her future and I eagerly await it.
For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. . . Psalms 63:7

4 comments:

Mrs. C said...

You just cannot have a more perfect program for Pamela. She is growing into quite the young lady!

Carroll said...

You are a true educator. Learning along with Pamela and your son. What joy this must bring to you and by way of you to all of us! Carroll

argsmommy said...

She radiates joy! Thank you for sharing your treasure.

Kellie

The Glasers said...

All I can say is, "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:28