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So Many People

July 2, 2016

I wrote a few weeks back that Steven made a great connection between his meltdown and the trigger for it. It was the day before we were due to go on holiday and he was agitated for nearly six hours and saying that he didn’t want to go. Eventually, he was able to say that he didn’t want to go on holiday because “holidays get a bit busy”.

It was the first time I’ve ever heard him make a link like that. I was almost tempted to phone the Positive Behaviour Support team! He had sussed why he experiences sensory overload in an amusement arcade, or at the fair, or on a busy beach. And from that point, he was able to structure his holiday precisely to his requirements.

Today he did something similar. The calendar has turned over to July and Steven knows that this is the time quite a few things change. School goes on holiday and the Mencap Pool closes for the duration of the school break. Each year, we have to find an alternative for his Friday night and Sunday morning swims. So, earlier, he was asking about where we will be going instead. I suggested three different places but each suggestion produced a scream and he started to work himself up. I went into the kitchen to leave him to it. About ten minutes later, he came out, having calmed down:

“Dad – don’t want to go to Hayes pool ‘cos?”

“I dunno mate. Steven Neary doesn’t want to go to Hayes pool cos?….”

“Dad – don’t want to go to Hayes pool cos song in Peter and Linda film”.

“What’s the song in the Peter and Linda film mate?” For a few minutes, I wasn’t even sure what film he meant, let alone the song.

He went back into the living room and I could hear him talking to himself, trying to remember the words of a song.

Ten minutes later, Tigger bounded into the kitchen:

” Dad – so many people. Peter and Linda song”.

Bloody hell. How did he remember that? WE used to have a VHS tape of Willie Russell’s Dancing Through The Dark. It must have been sixteen years since he’s watched it. It was finally released on DVD about a year ago and I got it but Steven has never watched it.

But it was the same as the holiday. Only this time he needed a musical clue to express his feelings. He doesn’t want to go to Hayes pool as there are So Many People.

I wish we were all so musical in expressing our unconscious. This week at work, I’ve had so many people talking about major fall outs with family or friends since the referendum vote. It’s like some deep rooted unconscious fear has burst out but expressed in frightened anger. Whatever it is about, it’s not the thing that people are arguing about – the impact is too disproportionate to the subject matter. Did Abba record a song that can sum up our Brexit mood?

Anyway, in the meantime, here’s a Peter and Linda song that you might care to learn, so in future, you’ll have the language to express your sensory overload:


From → Social Care

  1. techiebabe permalink

    Oh, that’s wonderful. I’ve always thought of music as a background to my life, my narrative, but never needed it to express myself. I’m so pleased Steven is finding a way to identify for himself what the issues are, and to have a mechanism by which he can share them with you.

    Reach for the stars…

    (PS. I need help bathing. I’m just discussing a time for this with hubby, and we are singing We Will, We Will Wash You! 😉 I hope Steven would approve.)

    • Brilliant. In the Cowley house, evening bath is always introduced with a quick chorus of, Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath.

  2. Sally permalink

    Brilliant. My sons mumbles bits of dialogue, sometimes just bits of theme tunes . Occasionally this hold the clue to his state of mind.. The joy when he is able to say something along the lines of “it’s a bit busy”. He feels better too.
    . It really shows me how stressful and frightening it is for him other times to not have the language to come up with that sort of phrase just to get across how he feels. To be terribly upset and struggle to frame why to himself, let alone to anybody else.

    Yet ,(returning to bugbear ) in all the Social services dealings with him it is taken as read that he can easily say how he feels !

  3. So great to see such a break through… would that we all connected with our buttons and stopped ourselves repeating the same old argument/responding to the same flash point. It’s so good how he connects through music…. Thanks for sharing so much – it’s such great learning for all of us.

  4. There’s a womnderful young man called Kyle Coleman who is non-verbal but discovered his voice through Music Therapy. He knew the lyrics to hundreds of songs and now sings in public, often in major events. When in the car with his Mum, he’ll often choose songs that represent how he feels at the time. You can find hin on Facebook – his Mum runs his account. He has an album out.

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