My music output has to do with my dad more than anyone else in my life. Dad grew up very, very poor and one way to get out if you had some interpersonal and intellectual talents was to teach. My dad eventually wound up teaching disabled kids, and he did that for twenty-five years.
Asperger’s/autism wasn’t out there so much when I could have used a diagnosis as a kid, particularly in the social arena, which later allowed me to live everyone’s dream – be a nightmare person when it comes to interpersonal relationships.
However, intuitively, my dad did stuff with me that I’m astounded to read is now standard practice for many Asperger’s kids as far as getting them to communicate and connect with other people at all. One basic example I can think of was him helping me make fake album covers as a toddler. I was obsessed with music. I think I felt towards music how other people feel towards, well, people, without any effort. So my dad would cut up these index cards and have me make album covers out of them. Anything to get me to talk and to engage with him and, hopefully, maybe, somehow, other people. Piano lessons? Record stores? Concerts? Your music is getting much better (c. 2001) You wanna dance like a weirdo? Whatever! I love you! Here, I’m going to throw the lights down and put a flashlight on the wall so you’re in the club and Michael Jackson is playing. And you are four. Or perhaps significantly older. Ahem.
And he actually constantly tried to do social things, but really, you can only do so much alone with someone like me. And he never got any credit for it, and I couldn’t repay him. But he’s still here with me.
Happy April 12th, dad. Wanted to write this for eight years.