Friday, December 16, 2005

Autism: The Band Concert Part

Maybe I should just quit going to band concerts. I swear, being a mother can be bad for the ticker.

No seriously, it's the night of the Winter Concert at our high school and Percussion Ensemble, the Choir, the Concert Band, the combined band and the orchestra are all playing.

Logistics are not my son's strong suit and we get him to the band room and I ask him if he knows what to do and he says no, so I say, we'll ask your teacher. He does and I leave and meet up with my husband. We sit in the auditorium for half an hour waiting for the concert to start.

We watch as the kids file in and sit down while waiting for their turn. There's Osc with his trumpet--oh good he's near someone by whom he sat last year in band...if he follows this one...

The Concert Band which is only 15 students is what Osc is in and they have one number: Alleluja from Exsultate Jubilate. Osc does fine.

The last numbers are for the combined band. It's huge, this band. Zillions of kids on stage. I notice Osc hesitating and not going at what I think is the right time, behind the person I think he needs to be behind (not that kid this time). Both my husband and I wait tensely to see him get on stage and try to find a place.

He turns, he's lost, there's no chair, something's wrong. He raises his hand to try to attract the teacher's attention--he's like the last one not sitting and finally the teacher notices and directs him toward a seat.

I tell you watching that was some of the worst moments of my life. I wanted to jump up and guide Osc. I wanted to part the sea of band kids and make room for mine.

I don't know if it's ever going to get easier for Osc. (or me) I think part of it is, as kind as the band teacher is, he can't be watching out for Osc all the time--it's not on his radar. He's one of the top high school band teachers in the country. I am sure he thinks about how good the band has to sound and look...

Actually I'm not sure...but at the high school level, there's more competitiveness that goes along with the competence of students. So I don't know, but I don't get a sense of he's here to nurture talent. Maybe that's because I don't see the rehearsals, just the finished product.

And the finished product is damn good. I don't know if I should demand that my son has a para for Band. Someone to help him with the logistics of stuff.

Oh well. It's maybe a good thing he's not in Marching Band. Or maybe he should be--more logistics, more stuff to keep in mind. Help him practice for real life.

1 comment:

Vicki Smith said...

With or without autism, with teens, it's always something. I just read a post from an on-line friend whose daughter is feeling awful and like she doesn't fir in because of acne. I guess it's all part of growing up.