Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Mom Knows Her Child So Well...

Because my son, Matthew, who has complete Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, loves music so much I always keep my eyes open for music and songs that will help him to learn because there is just something lovely about how music can teach and create a connection to learn where sometimes mere spoken words may not be able to reach.

I discovered a song sound clip while searching online that Matthew really liked and was responding to. The song is called “Arms Up” so I did the good ole’ check the online local library catalog but couldn’t find the particular CD called “Arms Up, Keep Moving” by William Janiak that I was looking for that had the “Arms Up” song. I was, however, able to find another CD by William Janiak called “It’s Fun to Clap” so I went to the library and borrowed that one instead.

Songs on This CD Include:

1. The La Song
2. Shrug Your Shoulders
3. It's Time For Music
4. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
5. Shirt, Shirt
6. Here Comes The Cow
7. It's Fun To Clap
8. Hop Like A Bunny
9. The Body Care Song
10. Make Your Eyes
11. Hands Go Up and Down
12. I Like To Dance

Well, I listened to the CD by myself first without
Matthew and I thought it was uhhmmm…unusual and a little bit weird. I make that comment only because parts of the music during the songs have a different unique, twangy sharp and sort of shrill sound. I knew that Matthew wouldn’t like it.

Some time went by and the due date for the CD to be returned to the local library was approaching. I was just about to take it back to the library and I thought to myself…you should really play it for Matthew and let him hear it before you return it. Ok, I thought. So, I put the CD in the player and turned it on for Matthew to listen to (knowing that he wasn’t going to pay much attention or like it) but boy was I ever WRONG! I thought I knew my own child well enough to determine what HE likes (and I usually do) but this time I am so thankful that I listened to that little voice inside and gave Matthew the chance to make his own decision because that entire CD full of, what I first thought to be “unusual and a little bit weird”, music (please, please forgive me Mr. William Janiak) turned out to be a CD that we both love and adore and spend time listening to.

The very thing that I didn’t like so much about the music is the very thing that Matthew likes and it’s the thing that, I think, keeps his attention….well, that and the fun songs and words too. I really do love it too. And Matthew….well, he absolutely loves the CD. It’s a very cute CD and the songs allow him to become engaged and interact with every song that is sung. He listens intently to the words being sung and then he will do many of the things that the song lyrics are telling him to do. It’s great!! In fact, we both like the CD so much that I purchased a copy of “It’s Fun To Clap” for our own music collection.

The CD has songs that are geared for early childhood and special needs and they are sung with a slow and repetitive style that is often times a very helpful thing for many kids who have Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum and who are developmentally delayed. You can listen to a sample clip of one of the songs on the CD called “Hop Like a Bunny”.

Oh and by the way…if you want to hear the song clip of “Arms Up” that I mention at the beginning of this post…(the song that began my search in the first place) you can listen to it here. This song is on the “Arms Up, Keep Moving” CD.

I learned a very valuable lesson about being a Mom
and especially about being a mom to a child who
is developmentally delayed in all areas and is non-verbal. I will definitely be respectful of Matthew and allow him the opportunities to decide for himself what he does and does not like no matter how much I think, as his mommy, that I already know since I know him so well? ~humbly loosens my apron strings a little bit and sighs~

Matthew is his own person with his own likes and
dislikes and it’s only right to give him the chance
to make his own decisions as much as possible
and to help him learn and give him the opportunities to become as independent as possible. I thought I was doing a good job to encourage this skill but after this eye-opening experience I think I need to re-think, broaden my horizons and allow Matthew to reach for the stars…shoot for the moon and find his own wonderful and beautiful horizons a whole lot more.

William Janiak is a Registered Music Therapist
and you can find more information at his website:


  1. Sandie,

    Brianna loves music too she "dances" and has a huge smile on her face when we play nursery rhymes. Her big sister, Hailey, and me will sing along and Brianna will coo with her baby talk like if she was singing too.

    Oh Sandie I am so exited Brianna is learning to show emotions for example her new one "love" she will hug us now for the first time in her 20 months of age she hugs us back that is soooo wonderful I cant even explain.

    Next step kisses :)

    Repetition repetition repetition... I guess since we were not trying to show her to hug us she learned by "repetition" by us hugging her repetedly all day long! :)

    Araceli, Brie's Mommy

  2. Araceli,

    Isn't that so cute Brianna coos to the tune and she IS most definitely singing. ;)

    I am so happy and excited for you about Brianna giving hugs now for the first time! I know exactly how wonderful it is and you're right it just can't be explained. It's felt... and those little arms all snuggled around you with a squeeze are just heavenly.

    I love how you're already envisioning those upcoming kisses and they WILL happen.



  3. I will have to check this music out - I haven't heard of it! I do this with my students every once in a while...I make an assumption about what will or won't work, and then they go and prove me completely wrong :)

    You are a blogging machine, Sandie! Such great information and insight. A wonderful addition to the blogosphere.

  4. Rachel, Thank you for your very nice comments.

    Being a Music Therapist yourself...I'm glad you found something new to check out and explore.

    It's amazing isn't it? We think we're there to teach the children and those little ones actually have so much to teach us too. ;)


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