After-school classes - Case Study P

drumIndian DrumP is an eleven year boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has been attending after-school classes since 2013.

P is a lively, energetic, talented boy, with a strong sense of rhythm and a huge aptitude for enjoyment of music. He also find social communication very challenging and while he wants to engage with his peers, he finds this very difficult. He is easily frustrated and occasionally resorts to violent behaviour when he feels out of control.

It became apparent that P was struggling in a group situation, to the extent that his continued attendance was both detrimental to his behaviour and to the enjoyment of the other members of the group. While P's enthusiasm for music was still high, his struggles meant that behaviour was getting in the way of achieving any of the things that he was capable of.

The solution to this was to remove P from the group for a number of weeks. Having individual sessions meant that P could work in a quiet environment, developing his musical skills, but more importantly, learn how to communicate his feelings when he felt out of control. The individual sessions started off with him being completely in control, but with him developing vital listening and waiting skills. Gradually it was possible to add in a little more adult-led direction, and because he is now more comfortable following instructions, P is back in the group part-time, having used the individual sessions to develop essential skills for group learning.