Karaoke Therapy

Sensory Hell? No! That's Social Joy on Their Faces!

You wouldn’t think so, but I’ve seen proof.

A joyful, no-cost, and mainstream intervention that combines:

Expressive speech,


The power of music lighting up so much of the brain,

Social settings with other people,

Eye contact with the crowd,


(and some 2017 research behind a happiness study).

Oh, John’s eyes were so shiny when he watched his very first karaoke song.

Sweet Caroline had everyone in the room chiming in.

Because Sweet Caroline (thank you, all the Neil Diamonds of the world) was in his 4th grade play,

and all the kids performed it.

(So he had prior knowledge and social joy already connected to that neural pathway, and that lit up his eyes!)

Recently, we took some kids to Friday night karaoke at our local Mexican food restaurant.

They loved it.

They monopolized the microphone.

(Please know the majority of this batch of kids have some version of neural-diverse sensory and learning issues.)

So, what if our kids of learning differences were tired of being sequestered?

What if they truly desired real life?

John proves this time after time, in many activities.

And specifically, in music also.

He loves Mixed Choir in intermediate school.

First day back after Thanksgiving week off, with jet lag:

No problem getting out of the house early this morning.

He said he “didn’t want to be the last kid to Choir” practice before school.

So, maybe this gives you some ideas for your home:   What intrinsically motivates our children?

Do we waste that?

Peace be with us,



(thanks to PowerPoint Clip Art for the graphic.)

Hustle, Buddy

Building Urgency into Your Child's Day

“Going to be late for Choir!”

“Going to miss the bus!”

Most mornings, either of these sentences puts John into gear.

He tells me he is “not going to be the last kid going to Choir”!

And he has seen other kids have to run to make the school bus in the morning.

But some mornings, he still goofs around.

So, I have learned that we start sooner.

No snooze alarms for us.

I have asked John if he was choosing to be the last kid into Choir?

When he continued to stall, I have said, “When you are done eating breakfast, you can put your food in the fridge.”

“I will meet you in the car.”

(John does his best work when I am gone.)

“You lock the door.”

(We have been backward-chaining the whole door/key process, and

John can come and go through the door as he decides.)

So, the sentences get said that he is choosing to be hungry, to waste his time, to be late.

I don’t rub it in or nag (nagging does NO good at our house).

But I do declare those facts in a calm Mom voice.

This morning, we had a version of  “We’ll just have to wait until you are ready”.

I carried his vitamins and his toothbrush to the car.

During the drive to early Choir drop-off, I pulled onto a side street.

He immediately asked me what I am doing.

He’s very aware of location.

We just sat there until he took his vitamins (which he stalls on every day).

We talked about “hard way” and “easy way”.

He decided very quickly to do what he should have done at home.

Because he didn’t want to be the last kid to walk into Choir.

Because he knew he wasn’t going to get away with stalling and avoidance.

Because he didn’t want to be the last kid into Choir.

I offer these ideas to hopefully help in your daily routines.

Whatever our kids are intrinsically motivated by,

use that to help them learn habits and routines that will become muscle memory and be useful their entire lives.

He must feel the natural, unintended consequences of his choices,

and know he is choosing.

Peace be with us,


Kids Learn To Drive Sooner Than You Think

They Are Also Learning While They Are Riding

Recently, I ran some very-yellow lights.

John called me on it.

He was aware I had cheated.

“Mom, you made a bad choice!” was what I heard.

“Red means stop!  Do not go!”

It was quite a little sermonette.

And he was right.

No wrecks, no tickets, lucky me.

These days, I continue to discuss Rules of the Road with John as we drive.

I make him look out the window.

He can also read, if he prefers.

But no electronics.

He can wear his listening therapy headphones, but that’s as close to electricity as we get.

I see him watching everything out the window, which prompts sentences.

We play “read the sign” games.

Or my favorite, “Tell Mom when the light turns green” game.

Just in case my head isn’t in the game at that particular intersection, waiting.

And we talk about lights, directions, who gets to go next and other drivers.

“Chargers” was what my teenager taking drivers ed used to call them.

Drivers to be watchful for.

And the “point of no return” as the stoplight goes from “stale” green to yellow to

“ohhhh,  !*#%@*&!”

As John has gotten bigger, he can now legally sit up front with me, which I like much better.

Easier to chat that way.

Yes, a few more risks, with him in the front seat.

The rewards outweigh the risks, in my analysis.

Because sometimes I slip into my head too much, and ignore the young learner in the back seat.

Let us continue to always chat with our less-verbal kids.

Their brains are very aware.

Peace be with us,