The Discovery


Madeline Grayson looked at her daughter's hysterical face, tear ridden, racked by sobs and red as a tomato. This was not the only time her daughter Laura was like this. In fact, this happened mostly three or four times a day. All that Madeline could do was watch with so many emotions that it would be hard to feel that way without bursting into tears like her daughter. But she didn't. she just watched, and waited.

This time someone at Laura's school told her she couldn't hold her sensory putty in math class. when she reacted like every child when told that her only companion AT THAT MOMENT was being called a distraction and was getting ripped away would, a fellow class-mate "snapped" and punched in the face, calling her Laura a pervert, female-dog, retard and literally any other thing that Laura is not. That was when the hysteria happened, which was the result of a simple, but completely unacceptable, attack. Madeline was asked to come to the school to calm her daughter down. This was a "solution" that, in Madeline's mind, was not helpful, too common, and almost primitive.   

Laura was getting herself more and more worked up by the second, to the point where she ran from her mother's arms, screaming and crying as she went. When Madeline found her, she was in the music section of the school, just sitting there. She was listening to the sound of one of the other students practicing his cello. For the first time, Laura seemed happy to be herself and to be a human. She wasn't flapping or hitting herself or screaming. She was just listening.

This only happened one other time when she was watching a movie at her babysitters when she was two, Beetlejuice, at that time she wasn't hitting herself or making noises, she was only watching. From then on, that was the only movie she ever watched. Madeline never really thought that Laura knew what the story meant, or what the characters even said probably didn't register. But all those sights and sounds and things that to most autistic people, are absolute priority, were mesmerizing. This was the exact same thing. And, like any mother, she flew with the idea of that movie. So at that moment, she flew with the idea of that instrument.

The orchestra director told Madeline that four or five times a day; Laura would walk down with an aid to see if the cellists are practicing. If not, then she will leave, if so, she just listens. This was like a signal to Madeline. The signal told her to try to teach Laura to play the cello. It seemed like a great idea to Madeline, Laura would learn to express her feeling differently than just exploding; she would get that sensory upload she apparently loved, and the fingering/bowing would improve her fine motor problems maybe even better than Ocupantional Therepy would. But getting the imperfect school district to believe that this was a good idea was not going to be pretty. It wasn't. First of all, the students had to be in fourth grade in order to begin to learn an instrument, Laura was in First. The instruments were off-limits for any student failing, Laura couldn't read or write. And according to the orchestra director, playing an instrument involved communicating immensely, with the teachers Laura couldn't talk, touch people, let people touch her, look people in the eye or sit in one spot for too long. But Madeline, the mother of a girl whose life and love has been taken away from her all these years, shouldn't, wouldn't, and couldn't possibly give up ever. So that was going to happen.


The End

1 comment about this story Feed