Developing Through Art and Music

Why I Know Uniquely Me and U is making progress with our members

– by Yvonne

As I have said before, I have high expectations for my group. Not only for my son, but for others who join us, and want to have fun, whilst developing their own hidden unique skills.

Putting on the musical show in September 2018, proved to me it is moving in the right direction. Although the community sadly did not show enough support for our members. They all enjoyed themselves and were happy to show those that did come along their efforts. I can see the progress all our members are making in their own way. In art and music.

The show brought together both sides. Our display pictures were chosen by members and completed in our art group, to relate to the songs they were singing. We had a variety of songs, and the atmosphere was wonderful throughout.

Over the three and a half years now the group has been going. I have seen so much progress my son is making through music and art, that has surprised me very much. It has taken many years to be where he is now, and through my dedication in trying to overcome very difficult issues. I am now seeing the wonderful results.

In absolute desperation, when my son was young. I pleaded with his pediatrician , if there was anywhere or anyone that could help us?
His reply was ‘find a home for him, and concerntrate on your daughter’. I got up and walked out. I was determined to look myself, and had lost total trust in the health service.

After searching in the local library, I found two clinics. Unfortunately, they were not in this country. One was in Israel and the other America. I decided all I could was write to both. Being a single parent on benefits, with two children, I knew I had no hope of ever getting to any on them. But, I had to TRY. Details of the outcome will be in my book.

As I have said, I am amazed how my son is doing, and meeting those people who have come to our group over the three and a half years. I can see many of the issues that my son had when he was younger. How those issues affected his quality of life in the adults that have come and gone through Uniquely Me and U. They have all gone through the education system, yet that system doesn’t seem to have helped them as much as I would have expected, with the number of years they would have been in the system. This is the reason why our group has not been the right place for some of them as adults. Due to behaviour issues and lack of support from their support workers.

I can now understand why small groups and individual attention is important in the early years, to deal with issues that will definitively have a profound effect on their lives. I was fortunate to find guidance for my son, as a result of writing to both of those clinics, and I am still using that guidance to this day. Details will be in my book.

One thing I learnt was , how different sounds/waves can affect us differently. Music is a way of communicating for people with sensory/learning disabilities. As, has proven right for my son since forming Uniquely Me and U, twenty odd years later, from learning about it. Art is another way of communicating if you have no communication skills.

From the clinic I did manage to get guidance from, explaining how encouraging drawing/painting can help autistic children/adults to express themselves. At the time my son’s issues/behaviour was not right to try it. It has taken many years for him to take an interest in art/painting. Now, through our group he is, and is drawing pictures that relate to his childhood. He has a brilliant memory, but would never be able to verbally relate to his past. Through art I am encouraging him to do that. He has been locked inside mentally through sheer frustration and lack of communication skills, that is only now he feels confident to be himself.

Also, having a parent that refused to accept him and his autism, he was treated differently. This caused many years of distress for my son. Hence, the long court battle which will be in my book.

Through art/painting, I am hoping my son can unlock unhappy memories. That will help me to talk to him about them, now he is older. He has already done some pictures that relates to when he was very young. Maybe, he will do more that will help me as a mother, and others to show how a child/adult with autism sees the world from their perspective.

I never stop learning about autism, which I know will help me to go on developing Uniquely Me and U.

Please click here for part 2.

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