Student with Asperger's Syndrome : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I was asked by a fellow teacher to take an 8 year old beginning student who has Asperger's Syndrome--some relation to autism--it's on the end where they are extremely bright in math and science, but have some focus problems. Actually this teacher doesn't know a lot about the disorder--this is the son of her friend, so she doesn't want to take him. She says he's a sweet boy but doesn't look at you when you talk to him. She doesn't know him that well. I'm usually up for a challenge, but want to ask if any of you have experienced this type of student, and just what challenges I might face. Thanks! Rose

-- Rose (, February 23, 2005


As a music therapist, I would suggest consulting the American association for music therapy in your area for specific tips on working with a child with Ausperger syndrome. While I have not personally worked with a child diagnosed with Ausperger, I have worked with kids with Williams syndrome which is quite similar (these kids are sometimes the savants of music with incredible recall for music that is played for them). I would also suggest reading everything you can about autism and there are many many great websites. Since this child is only 8 yrs. old with autistic tendencies, I would also suggest intense ear training rather than note reading initially. Focus on the child's ability to "create" at the piano and you can improvise along with them. If you want more information on specifics I would contact the American Association for Music Therapy @

-- Marianne Ashton (, February 24, 2005.

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