Recently, I suffered a back sprain and was moving quite uncomfortably about during sessions. I have had no idea how I got that condition.
So there Little C was having class. Little C is on the autism spectrum and rarely initiates conversation with me. If he did, it would be song requests or expressing some other needs. He spoke in key words. E.g. "toilet", "Peter and the Wolf". More spontaneous reciprocal conversation was one of the goals of the session.
That day, I told Little C in that session that my back was hurting and that I was going to move slower than usual. I was not sure how much of it he grasped from his quizzical look on his face. When it was time to for him to play his tunes on the piano, I stood up, holding my back, and shifted myself gingerly to the side. He looked on and suddenly reached out with his little index finger and pointed at my back and said, "Back better!"
That surely made my day! That natural display of empathy melted my heart.
Sometimes, individuals on the autism spectrum may seem aloof or self-absorbed. But I believe that beneath that countenance and behaviour, lies a wonderful soul that seeks to connect and communicate! That's what our work does. Building bridges through music!