Jamie attends our BROCS autism day service in West Yorkshire. He’s visually impaired and non-verbal, so the sounds he hears around him help shape his understanding of the world. Music is highly effective for Jamie and helps to focus his hearing on positive sounds that he enjoys. This helps keep him calm and avoids over-stimulation. This strategy is a part of his person-centred care plan and has helped open the door for Jamie to fulfil his passion and create music. He does this both with the help of staff and independently.
Practice makes perfect!
Staff discovered Jamie’s ability through consistent work on musical activities. Now, music is an important part of Jamie’s curriculum when visiting the day service. Staff identified his favourite songs and used them to create a tailored sing-along video for him to practice his music to. They also take advantage of YouTube tutorials with a call and response interactive element. Because of these videos, Jamie can practice at home too!
Jamie understood the concept of the guitar a lot quicker than the keyboard and adapted very well to playing with rhythm. Months of work with Jamie has resulted in him developing some amazing skills! He now has a great repertoire of songs that he will play in tandem with staff, including ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and a song specifically written for Jamie. This song touches on his favourite things, including his love for family, noodles for dinner and visits and phone calls with his grandma.
Steve, a staff member at BROCS who has helped Jamie with his musical skills, said, “He loves music and has amazing rhythmic skills. This activity develops and enhances his ability to communicate. By playing music, Jamie has a platform to manage his own anxieties, educate both himself and others.”
Sharing progress with friends and family
Jamie even has his own dedicated Facebook page! His mum helps him update it regularly with videos of him playing his music. This allows Jamie’s friends and family to see how much he has progressed while visiting BROCS. They love to watch him achieve his goals and this makes them a part of his journey!
Encouraging others to be musical
A longer-term goal for Jamie is to expand and enhance his already excellent skills and build his media profile and presence. This in-turn will celebrate his achievements. Jamie hopes his profile will become a shareable resource for others like him. Encouraging them to learn a new skill and fulfil their passions.
Learn more about our community support for autistic individuals
BROCS is our community support for autistic people in West Yorkshire. The day centre has a mission to create a learning environment that meets the needs of the people we support and empowers them to maximise their independence and communication. Our staff work with each person we support to create an individual, person-centred package around their interests, needs and goals.
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You can learn more about our specialist autism support here.