Kathy Watson discusses first steps with the MIDIcreator at the Bridge School in Telford.
This case study was previously hosted on the MIDIcreator-Resources website and is dated according to it’s original submission to that site.
The Bridge is a large split-site SLD school in Telford where we have three MIDIcreator kits. I am currently involved in development work in the area of music and communication and I would like to describe an experience using the MIDIcreator with a child in our nursery.
S attends our assessment nursery. He has a diagnosis of autism. I had set up the MIDIcreator to train the class teacher how to use it. S was the only child in the classroom at the time as the others had gone to the hall for PE. He was totally engaged in playing with a small train engine, pushing it along the tops of cupboards and tables.
At first, it seemed we would never get his attention, he was so engrossed! I began to make different sounds with the MIDIsensor (a switch which responds to the slightest movement) until I found one that made him stop and look. I then repeated the sound with exaggerated ‘stops’ and ‘gos’ , using lots of facial expression, so that he began to anticipate when the sound would come again.
Eventually he came over (with his train!) and began pushing the train on the table I was using. I immediately positioned the MIDIsensor in the path of his train movement so that each time he moved the train forward, he got a rewarding sound. S’s eye contact with me increased and he remained engaged in the activity for several minutes. He clearly understood that his train movement was making the sound happen, and his movements became increasingly intentional and controlled.
This situation was a good lesson (for me!) that starting an activity where the child is will be far more rewarding than imposing one’s own ideas of an activity.