Tag Archives: Audience

Question?: Asperger Syndrome In Adults

Laura asks…

Which social networking site is right for me?

My profile will be public as the theme will be about my life with Asperger Syndrome. I will want to share my You Tube videos and blog as well as share photos. It will basically be an activism account. The audience will be adults w/autism/Asperger‘s.

admin answers:

I guess myspace. Facebook is kind of too private for that ,but you could always create a facebook group…

Good Luck!

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Piano Instruction for Adults on the Autism Spectrum

I am often asked if any of my students are, “gifted” or innately prodigious at the piano. I can understand the interest in this topic but the reality is that the vast majority of the individuals I have taught struggle with certain concepts and excel at others (just like most typically developing students). Frankly, I am especially proud when a more challenged student makes a (relatively) minor stride in their lessons – because I understand how very difficult that must have been for them. This is, of course, true in the case of adults with autism who decide to pursue the piano as well. In other words, the challenging nature of the activity is often a benefit (not to mention the various other benefits associated with learning an instrument).

Many individuals with autism have challenges with social interaction. Discovering an instrument, such as the piano (even later in life) has a twofold effect when it comes to helping with socialization. To a large degree, music is fundamentally a group activity. You are often playing with other musicians, playing for an audience or accomplishing both at the same time! Opportunities for socialization in all of these situations are numerous and naturally occurring in nature. Musicians and those who interpret Bach or improvise at Jazz seem to be inextricably bonded by these common pursuits. When you consider the wave of internet, iPad and tablet related usage, as opposed to face-to-face skill sets being used, you have to wonder how this will affect society. Old-fashioned networking around a common interest (like the piano) may have added benefits when it comes to social interaction in this population. On the other hand, music (and especially playing a musical instrument by oneself) can be a welcomed diversion from daily stresses and other challenges that individuals with autism might face. Having the freedom to choose which of these characteristics they will embrace at any given point gives adults with autism the opportunity to decide this for themselves.

…music can be a welcomed diversion from daily stresses

and other challenges that individuals with autism might face.

A common challenge with teaching the piano to any adult is keeping them engaged and successful at navigating the early phases of instruction. Although we all would love to jump into a Chopin Etude or complicated Blues riff, the reality is that there’s a reason everyone begins with “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. The key point to remember (when teaching an adult with autism) is that teachers should focus on their students’ individual strengths and challenges – as opposed to their given age and what you feel that means. That is not to say that the material, your affect, etc. should not be age appropriate. Rather, you should not assume that the student should ‘get this’ because of his or her age. It’s always best to discuss these issues with a parent/caretaker or specialist before instruction begins. While it’s difficult to give advice on the entirety of adults on the spectrum, I can say with certainty that as a piano teacher, you will be challenging your student as he progresses. If a student with autism has challenges verbally expressing a misunderstanding or frustration, it can easily go unnoticed by the teacher. I’ve always found that an approach which very gradually introduces concepts allows instructors to more easily pick-up on these instances and appropriately react.

If a student with autism has challenges verbally expressing a misunderstanding or frustration, it can easily go unnoticed by the teacher

In addition to these and other benefits associated with learning the piano, there is yet another to consider with special significance for those on the spectrum. We may all not be the stuff of concert pianists…just yet… but taking the time to learn this instrument tells you something about one’s character, ability and determination. Gainful employment for those with autism is a significant individual and societal issue.

Prospective employers will most likely be impressed with this skill (as a hobby or leisure activity) when listed on a resume or a job application. Who knows, it might just tip the scales in your favor on your next job interview!

About the author: Mr. Jeffrey Young is the President and Founder of Innovative Piano, Inc. Mr. Young has published over 17 books dealing with music and autism education. To learn more about the author and the program please visit

http://www.innovativepiano.com/

Innovative Piano, Inc.
Offering piano lessons for students with autism – Nationwide!
http://www.innovativepiano.com/The-Young-Method-Series.html

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The Other “Champions” in America’s Next Top Model Seasons 1-15

Recently HOTDVDSHOP has released an excellent product — America’s Next Top Model Seasons 1-15 DVD Boxset. Since its release, this product has become the hottest item. America’s Next Top Model is really a great show, isn’t it? Do you love those champions? And do you love any other competitors?

Not all the champions were well liked by the wide audience, but those competitors who got beaten because of some kinds of shortage or little faults, with their unique personalities, appearances and model-gift, they made a strong impression on the audience, and generally these girls went a better and farther road. These girls are also the “champions”! How do you like the following “champions”?

Heather Kuzmich — the Fifth in Season 9

Heather suffers from Asperger syndrome, so she does not easily mix with others. And Asperger syndrome makes her movement a little awkward.

When she was 15 years old, Heather was diagnosed with Asperger and this was the very time when his father passed away. She said that those days were the the most difficult period of her life. Heather is the student of Art Department and her major is Game Design.

Although Heather ended in the fifth place, she won CoverGirl of the Week award in the episode after she got eliminated, which showed her popularity in the Uited States. Heather is the third competitor after A.J. Stewart and Toccara Jones, who was knocked out but still became the winner of CoverGirl of The Week, and she was also the first competitor who won the CoverGirl of The Week award the week after she was eliminated.

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Heather won in three challenges with the first winning in episode 6 — photo shoot challenge. The prize was shooting for Carol’s Daughter, directed by Mary J. Blige. Her second winning got her to be chosen by Enrique Iglesias and she got the special part in the music video of Tired of Being Sorry. The third winning was in the martial art challenge in Shanghai, China, which got her 4,000 Yuan for shopping.

Allison Harvard — the First Runner-up in Season 12

Allison is the first runner-up of America’s Next Top Model Season 12. She is the first runner-up who has the best development momentum now and she gets many runway works and high level photo shoots; as she specializes in Art, she does not develop in commercial advertisement. Allison is the first runner-up who wins four honors as the most perfect, the most powerful, making biggest improvements and the most popular in ANTM history. She could control her body skillfully and she potentiality to be a top model. Nigel appreciated Allison’s refinement, charm and sexy showing in the swimsuit photos and nest photos; even Tyra thought she could be a real top model during those weeks. All people appreciated Allison’s attitude, expression and movement, which were perfectly. Her progress made people joyful.

Laura Kirkpatrick — the First Runner-up in Season 13

Laura is the sweet heart in America’s Next Top Model. She’s the popular competitor and the Best Personality too. With her unique appearance, rural temperament and lovely personality, Laura would be the new shinning star in the Model world.

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