Many musicians slap their feet to the beat, but Shelby Township drummer Grant Harrison does not. Harrison nods his head like a gentle heavy metal drummer while Utica High School bandmates casually tap their toes.
Grant, 16, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a term used to describe neurodevelopmental disorders in the autism spectrum. The term Asperger refers to people with high-functioning autism who have autism, but since 2013 the term has lost its support in the medical community. People in this state are no longer selected by others in the autism spectrum. The characteristics of autism vary from person to person, but generally include repetitive behaviors and social challenges.
Grant, who enters the fourth grade at Utica High School, is fine at school. He maintains the upper grades average and is part of the school brass band, jazz, march and orchestra band. He also plays drums in an after-school social band called The Basement Group, which includes a few friends and his younger brother Bryce.
Grant manages his symptoms, including anxiety and consequent panic attacks, fidgeting, social anxiety, hearing and speech problems, and texture problems by redirecting his focus and other techniques. .. It is his hearing loss that causes him to hit his head while he is playing, says his mother, Tracy.
“Language is difficult for him because he hears how we hear underwater,” she says. “That’s why the drums are perfect because he can feel the rhythm.”
In addition to active cognitive support, playing with the band helped Grant deal with anxiety and grow socially, which heightened his self-esteem.
Grant began playing drums in his second year after Tracy, who played the clarinet, realized that his son was interested in music. Knowing that other types of instruments might not work for Grant, Tracy advised him to try the drums. She hired drum instructor Carol Bouford to work personally with her son, and the two formed a connection that would last for years.
After a brief lesson from Buffard, Grant became interested in appearing in a fourth grade talent show. His performance was very well received by his classmates and became known as the “kid playing the drums”. It greatly boosted Grant’s self-esteem.
Along with music, Grant has been a longtime Scout BSA member and recently achieved the Boy Scout’s best achievement, the Eagle Scout rank. The Eagle Scout requirement is the completion of an important community service project. Grant, who blogs online about his life with autism, has published a 26-page digital magazine, “Music Through the Eyes and Ears of Autism,” about his time in the band. Available online on Grant’s website FetchTheSwell.com, the purpose of this magazine is to raise awareness about life with autism.
“It’s hard to understand what it’s like (to have autism) because it’s a mental type rather than a physical one,” says Grant. “I want to make a difference in the community, explain what it looks like, and drive change.”
Grant wants to continue publishing digital magazines quarterly. He named the site after the tenacity of a surfing dog riding the waves. This is a metaphor for Grant’s determination to overcome social barriers and succeed. Grant, who has been blogging for several years, has uploaded numerous articles and photos to his website. His goal is to show people the people behind the diagnosis.
“You see a lot of medical stuff, but this is about kids who are doing well and doing well,” says Tracy. “As a parent, I wanted to see something like this when Grant was young.”
Teen drummer publishes digital magazine about life with autism – The Oakland Press
Source link Teen drummer publishes digital magazine about life with autism – The Oakland Press