December 1, 2010

The Saxophone?

The word saxophone is so far removed from my vocabulary I had to look it up to spell it. Apparently it is not so removed from my sweet daughter Alex’s vocabulary. She has decided she is going to play the sax in the school band!

I have mentioned that self-advocating is such an important skill we work on with Alex. As an adult, and hopefully a gainfully employed one, Alex may be in situations where she might not have support to make her needs known. She needs to be able to recognize when she is not being treated fairly or perhaps even being taken advantage of in a work environment. These potential situations scare me to death, and working on helping Alex make her needs known and expressing them intelligibly is inherent throughout her IEP.

In many ways Alex already has these skills; however she is reluctant to use them unless she really really wants something. And in this case Alex really really wants to play the saxophone in the school band.

This should not have taken me by too much surprise, but it did. A few weeks ago, Alex came home and informed me she was going to be in the band. She mentioned the music teacher in charge of the band told her she was welcome to join. To me, this meant she might be playing the drums, or perhaps strumming along on her guitar; easy instruments that cannot overtake the power of the other instruments.

I figured being on a “need to know” basis was safe. Plus, Alex had accomplished this herself, who am I to interfere? The “need to know” time came recently when Alex told me she was going to play the saxophone with the band, and the teacher Mr. G had suggested she take some private lessons first. Alex has never ever played the sax, we have never owned one, and do not know anyone who does (unless you count the REALLY loud toy one we gave to our friend Peter when he was three, thinking his parents would love it or us!). I can only assume one of Justin Bieber’s band mates must play this instrument.

Once again, I hoped this would work itself out, and I just needed to concentrate on the fact that Alex had willed herself onto the band and she would have a quiet and non disruptive instrument. Wrong again, Alex is staying after basketball practice today to have her first saxophone lesson with Mr. G.

Alex has self-advocated herself right on to that band as a sax player. I still am not sure what this means exactly, I am not from a music family, rather we all played sports growing up. Courtney played the violin, but isn’t that a nice musical instrument, one that does not involve blowing lots and lots of air into a tube? Hmmm… maybe this will keep Alex from singing so much at home? Maybe not such a bad thing?

Oh Alex, I am always so proud of you and your perseverance, next time could you work on advocating for yourself around healthy food consumption? Or perhaps cleaning your room, or working on weight loss? As I said, it works when it’s about Alex, not me!

I am sure to be sharing more as this latest adventure unfolds…………..


  1. Too Funny! Kayli also advocates for herself and is so determined when it is something she becomes passionate about like jump roping (she can do all kinds of fancy moves on that rope!). And I too wish she could apply that to math etc.!Go Alex!

  2. Go, Alex!!!! That's awesome! Go buy some ibuprophen now, Gary! :)

  3. I know exactly what you mean about her needing to be able to voice it when she is not treated fairly. My son is loyal to a fault, and I am concerned I would be the last to know if something happened that should not. Good for Alex, going after experiences that she wants!

  4. You go girl! Can't wait to see what happens. My April went to Saturday school (code word for major detention) and came out a Varsity cheerleader. The coach was in charge of detention that day, the two of them hit it off, April showed her some dance moves............Varsity cheerleader. Did I mention she had practice every day after school for hours!!!!! susan


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