The Sensational Musical Magic of Paul McCartney
When my oldest daughter, Jaimie, was very young, her sensory sensitivities were so severe that she wasn’t able to function in most social settings. Her tactile system was most affected where a light touch instantly threw her into an inconsolable rage. How torturous it was as a mommy not to be able to comfort my child when she was upset, hurt or scared or even give her loving hugs or cuddles. But music gave me a way to offer that comfort without actually having to touch her. And the musical magic of Paul McCartney was how I figured out music was my lifeline to Jaimie. According to Ryan Judd, Board Certified Music Therapist, “Music therapy began in the 1950’s when musicians start to work with World War II vets in a hospital setting. Doctors and nurses observed the positive physical and emotional effect the music was having on their patients.”
One afternoon when I was eight months pregnant with my second daughter, Jordy, Jaimie’s dad, Steve, took her for a walk to give me a bit of a break. Jaimie, who wasn’t even two at the time, was completely dependent on me. I was the only person she let near her or do things for her. I prayed for some sort of miracle that either helped me figure out what was going on with Jaimie or, at the very least, to learn how to help her. That day, my prayer was answered.
After having a short nap, I decided to join Jaimie and Steve outside. She rarely tolerated the action at the park but she loved to run and spin in the open field behind our apartment building. The moment I stepped out onto the field, I saw Jaimie and Steve. Jaimie was laying down screaming at the top of her lungs, while her dad tried getting her up. Jaimie kicked and threw her arms around, her shrill cries filling the air.
I ran as fast as my very pregnant body allowed me to until I got to her side. Steve couldn’t pin down what had triggered her meltdown but right then it didn’t matter. She was too far gone. I didn’t know what to do. There, kneeling beside my sweet girl as she fought some unseen assailant ravaging her body, I cried for her. Then I did the only thing I could think of to offer comfort: I sang to her.
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