Most lessons with Ami (non-verbal asd) end on an emotional high.  She was engaged, did the exercises, seemed happy, and makes the same progress as my neuro-typical students.

Not this week.  Ami was distracted, uncooperative, and at one point yelled out, "broccoli and celery!"  Her grandmother was clueless, as Ami had a very productive pre-lesson practice session and has never displayed such behavior during piano lessons.

I asked her to play something.  No response.  I placed her hands..... read the notes..... gently pressed fingers.....played it myself (to encourage mimicking)....  Nothing worked.  Finally she played the composition with an attitude of disgust, "if I do this, she will go away." 


I so much want to reach Ami, to give her the gift of music to enjoy, to express her feelings, to find an activity where she can create and thrive.  What happened?  What was she trying to say?

And yet at lesson's end, Ami would not leave the piano bench.  Then finally she hugged me, and hugged me again at the door, and hugged me again on the porch and took a LONG time getting in the car.

Maybe it wasn't an unproductive lesson afterall.