This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro, a motivational speaker and best-selling author who’s on the autism spectrum. You can learn more about Kerry on Facebook and Twitter. You can also read this blog here.
The way music can impact those with and without autism is amazing. One person I’d like to highlight today is Adele, who has recently been breaking records for her new hit song “Hello.” Adele has been a huge influence on me in helping find my “place of Zen” whenever I feel overwhelmed in my life.
Let me backtrack a bit and tell you how this came about…
I was diagnosed with autism at age four. When I was growing up, my parents believed in music and theatre as therapy to help me develop. I was introduced to music at a young age as a way to relieve some of my sensory issues. Growing up in a large city, I was always overwhelmed by police sirens, horns and other sound pollution in my area. That’s when my parents tried introducing me to music and for some reason, no matter how loud, music was very therapeutic and soothing to me.
When I first started getting internships and then landed my first full-time job, I was often commuting into New York every day. These were the first times I was using public transportation and for a while, I was stressed about the transition. One of the big vehicles that helped whenever I felt an overload coming on became listening to as much R&B music as I could. Music that was soothing and helped me find a calm place.
When I heard Adele’s “Rolling in The Deep” for the first time, things seemed to click like I’ve never heard before in the past.
Her music was just different from the norm. It was incredible.
When I needed to unwind, her songs were there. I could listen to them on low or high and no matter what I was feeling at that time, I was able to find my balance.
My transformation from a kid who hid under couches whenever he heard a sound that made him feel uneasy has made me very grateful for people like Adele. Her music has become a therapeutic part of my life that I hope everyone can find in their lives.
Now that Adele is releasing more and more new music, I am happy to share my story of why music therapy is so important and to recommend artists like Adele for our community to enjoy.
If Adele ever reads this, I’d just like to thank her for helping me find the balance that has helped me become the person I am today…