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Defying Autism Through Music

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Defying Autism Through Music

By Krista Larson

Associated Press

April 16, 2004

NEW MILFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Paul DeSavino's mother grew increasingly nervous as she watched her son sit at a piano during one of his first public performances last year. He wasn't playing.

Minutes passed and then DeSavino, diagnosed with autism more than three decades ago as a child, played the piece perfectly.

"After the performance I said 'Paul, it was so wonderful but why did you wait so long?"' Marlene DeSavino recalled. "And he said, 'Mom, don't you remember? You told me to take my time, to concentrate, to look ahead."'

For his family, who once was told DeSavino would eventually have to be placed in an institution, those early performances represented an opportunity.

Music offers children and adults with autism a way to express themselves, said Cindy Edgerton, co-director of the music therapy clinical services at Michigan State University. For many, it can improve language and social interaction skills, she said.

Trust me...you want to read the whole thing HERE


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