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Taylor's Story

TaylorDiscovering Music Therapy at Fraser has been a blessing and a joy for our family. Our two youngest sons, now 16 and 18, are both on the autism spectrum, but have very different needs.

Taylor, our youngest, is nonverbal with significant cognitive and developmental delays. He struggles with sensory and behavior issues and fine and gross motor skills. When he began music therapy almost three years ago, he had a very short attention span, was not compliant and was resistant to imitating and following directions. He had a difficult time in the waiting room with the noise of the other children and would scream.

Thanks to extreme patience, enthusiasm, and calming/redirecting expertise of Ms. Ericha, Taylor slowly made progress each week. Most weeks it was very small improvement, but as all parents of children with special needs know, small things are huge for our kids.

Ms. Ericha had worked for months on getting Taylor to move his individual fingers during a popcorn song on a drum, and literally screamed with excitement and jumped up and down the first day he finally moved one finger! She makes it fun for him, using instruments, singing, dancing, books and games.

His attention span increased, he has become calmer and much more compliant, willing to try new things, follow directions, turn taking, and making choices. His fine motor skills improved drastically, as did his eye contact and overall engaging with others. Ms. Ericha used his iPad as a communication tool, increasing Taylor's motivation to use it. He is calmer and happier. He is more tolerant and now sits patiently in the waiting room.

We were so impressed and pleased with the progress Taylor was making, we decided to schedule appointments for our older son. While Joseph is verbal and high functioning, he has difficultly with social interaction and severe anxiety. After a few sessions of music therapy, they began Adapted Music Lessons on the piano. The individual lessons were tailored to meet his needs and allowed him to learn at his own pace. He loved learning the piano. Thanks to Ms. Ericha's enthusiasm and positive reinforcement, Joseph's confidence was boosted, his social skills improved, and we noticed a decrease in his anxiety.

In addition to all of the improved skills, we see our boys happy and look forward to having a fun experience. Fraser Music Therapy has greatly increased the quality of their lives, and that is truly a gift.

Gary and Linda Smith