David Bowie’s FAME and Our Autism Journey

Matt and Sam had always loved music.  From the time they could sit up and rock back and forth, they did.  The music on, they were in their own little world.

They were surrounded by sound.  Toys and swings played some sort of simplified electronic hummings of Mozart and Caribbean Amphibian, and they rocked back and forth, with their own monotonous hum, right along with they rhythm.

The amazing thing about Autism is you know there is someone inside the body and mind, the chances when you get to see it are magical.  Rocking and flapping, my children lost themselves in music.  I lost my children in music.

The same thing happened in the car.




Over and over, I would pull my children out of this world they drifted off into, over and over again, they would go right back in.  This happened for years.  It continued happening, even after they were becoming more and more verbal.  And then, I changed the station.

First I heard a giggle.

Then I heard a distinct, “What?”

It was Fame, loud and on my radio, and for the first time, my kids were interacting during music.  They were not rocking.  They were not flapping.  They were enjoying a song, but they were doing it together.  It was no longer a separate experience of isolation.  It was something different that they had never experienced before, and they were curious to a point where a single, “What?” along with a giggle brought about not just an enjoyment in their own little world, but the shared experience of joy from music.  They imitated, over and over, the word, “Fame,” in different voices and different volumes, and they did it together.

That is not to say my children do not still listen to a song and get lost.  They probably always will.  I think we all do that.

To this day, my kids love that song.  What they probably do not remember is that song changed the way they experienced not just music, but so many things after.

Life is full of these single moments, and the where where you when’s.  There are songs that bring back a memory.  This one does it for me.