Symphony without distractions

One of my long-time students diagnosed with autism is intrigued with the intricacies and grandeur of orchestras, but her habit of occasional loud outbursts and her perseverative motor mannerisms would be quite disruptive in a symphony hall.

Last summer we found a way to help her enjoy live performances. She and her family sat in lawn chairs on the hill far behind the audience during an outdoor performance of the 1812 Overture. Because this young lady is particularly intrigued with the variety of instruments, I taught her to use binoculars so she could see individual musicians. She was enthralled with the sights and sounds of the event, and her occasional loud outbursts and vigorous rocking were not noticed by other audience members. We did learn the important lesson of moving discreetly to the car BEFORE the fireworks began!