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Piece by Piece: Music Often Keeps Peter Connected

Peter found a CD buried in the car from Playhouse Disney. When my three were little, they listened to that music whenever we were in the car. Peter was barely verbal until he was 4-and-a-half, but he obviously liked the music. Now today, years since they listened to the CD, all three children are singing every word, even Peter.

As part of Peter’s PDD-NOS, an autistic spectrum disorder, he had a hard time communicating. When he was 2, Peter often would sing snippets of television show songs and I would know what he was trying to tell me. Honestly, at this point, I can’t exactly remember an example. At the time, though, the speech therapist who evaluated Peter wrote in her report that mother and subject seemed to have their own form of communication. I know it worked. Peter would grin each time I figured out what he was trying to tell me.

Listening to Peter sing now, I realize I was right back then. I knew he was taking it all in but was not capable of verbally expressing what he was learning. He would sing the little he could to express as much as possible. Now he was singing just for the fun of the songs. He, Charlotte and Kit danced around the living room, re-enacting scenes from "PB&J Otter," "Bear in the Big Blue House," "My Friends Tigger and Pooh," "Rolie Polie Olie," "Stanley" and "Out of the Box."

Peter even talked about parts of the shows he remembered. He knew which shows Kit and Charlotte liked the most. He recalled which years the shows were on television. All of that was stored in his mind. Peter told me how glad he was to think about his 2000s with a smile that made me feel like I was looking at a very tall preschooler. With the verbal skills he has gained, Peter could give us much more of his knowledge from those early 2000s, piece by piece.

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