Music Therapy, Sensory Integration, and the Autistic Child

By Dorita S. Berger | Go to book overview
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We are emotional animals

David is 13. He has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and allied cognitive difficulties. He is handsome, extremely verbal, well developed for his age, with an abundance of high energy. David is curious, displays the usual physiologic disorganization involving his vestibular and motor-planning systems, and is in constant motion.

David's behaviors are erratic, non-conventional, demanding, bordering on Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). He opposes most directives, argues constantly, avoids any activity that requires cognitive [thought], shouts contradicting commands and parodies the behavior and comments of others. David has been on and off cocktails of medications including psychotropic drugs, tranquilizers, [uppers,] [downers,] and others.

David personifies pure fear. That is the basic core emotion to which his system has adapted and for which it is attempting to compensate. All of his behaviors point to his visceral fear responses. David is in continuous survival mode. He displays attention deficit disorders, peripheral vision, ambient hearing. His eyes dart back and forth around the room, influencing his movements in the directions his visual system takes him.

David is easily distracted, unable to [stay on task] for any length of time beyond 30 seconds. He wants to play every instrument, but cannot seem to [organize] and stay with the task before darting off into some other request. He wants to write a song but cannot seem to sequence words and thoughts well enough. His system has much to learn.

David's case summarizes all the information and theories presented in this book. Except for the fact that he has fluent expressive and receptive


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Music Therapy, Sensory Integration, and the Autistic Child


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