She tried piano. It was too stressful.
She tried violin.
She tried cello.
The music came easy but the panic associated with making mistakes, was too much.
She has such an amazing musical ear. Such a shame to "waste" it, just because of anxiety.
So we've set aside formal lessons and have been focusing on music therapy. Music, in an environment which is not so stressful for her. Music, purely for the joy of it. Last week was her recital. She made a music video with her therapist. Riley was responsible for all the artistic decisions, and she is playing the music (on an omnichord) under the video. It's also her art on the opening screen. Yes, I'm just a tad proud.
If there is one thing my daughter has taught me, it's she doesn't have to do everything like everybody else. What's cool is, through her, I've learned neither do I.
Michelle O’Neil has contributed to A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Autism, and Special Gifts: Women Writers on the Heartache, the Happiness and the Hope of Raising a Special Needs Child. She has written for Literary Mama,The Imperfect Parent, Age of Autism, The Bark! and Sensory Integration Special Interest Section (SISIS) Quarterly Newsletter, a professional journal for occupational therapists. She blogs at www.fullsoulahead.com.