Musical Workshops Bring Joy to Kids With Special Needs

Image courtesy of zzveillust/

A good friend of mine has a daughter who is severely autistic. She is 11 years old and non verbal. My friend and I were texting the other day while he was in the waiting room at the hospital. He was there to take her in for her annual dental cleaning. You see, she cannot sit in the dentist’s chair and follow instructions like most children. In order for her to have her teeth cleaned, she must go under general anesthesia at the hospital.

I’m not sure why, but that visual hit me really hard. I don’t think any parents actually enjoy taking their child to the dentist, but for the majority of us it is a fairly quick process. Imagine what it would be like to have to take all of the extra steps involved in clearing your schedule for the day, navigating the hospital and putting your child asleep for the procedure and then having a groggy, grumpy kid to deal with for the remainder of the day.

Really, almost everything you do for a special needs child requires extra time and effort. The simplest things just are not that simple anymore. Because of all of the extra effort required to do the basics, I’ve learned that parents of special needs children are tired, emotionally and physically. They work tirelessly to make the lives of their children as full and rich as possible. Luckily, some amazing organizations in the community are trying to help. I’d like to introduce you to one such business, Push, Play Sing, which is based in Raleigh.

Founded in 2014, Push Play Sing! works to empower those with intellectual and developmental disabilities by hosting hands-on musical workshops throughout the Triangle.The staff set up a variety of musical instruments and recording devices at different locations and invite participants to explore and make music. They record all of the sounds created and turn them into audio files that can be shared with family and friends and also kept as mementos of the experience. My words are inadequate to truly explain what they do. Here is a video of them in action that better conveys the true magic of this program.  

We all know that music is one of the first things cut for students when budgets get tight. But music is a powerful universal language that everyone can feel and understand, even those who might be limited by other forms of expression. It is such a beautiful experience that the people at Push, Play Sing! are bringing to this community.

On behalf of my friend and all of the loving and tired parents of special needs children out there, we say "thank you" to these heroes, and all of the others who work to engage these children and expand their worlds. We see the work you are doing and we applaud you.

I know at times we all get overwhelmed by the demands of life and work and being a parent. I certainly do. But when I stop to think about it I find opportunities to be grateful for all the blessings I have and the relative simplicity of my life. I hope we can all learn to focus on those blessings more and more each day.

This post was not sponsored. All opinions and selections are my own.

Categories: Searching for Balance, Special Needs