Child with Aspberger's Has Lost Her Ability to Play Piano

by Michelle
(Olathe, KS, USA)

My best friend's daughter has taken piano lessons for over a year. She loved playing and was pretty good. The last time I heard her play I was impressed by how complex the piece was.

She just turned 10 this past month and within the last week or two, she has completely forgotten how to play. She cannot even tell the difference between G and C now. Obviously, both she and her mom are quite upset.

This happened once before in her life. When she was two, this girl was a fabulous artist. She could draw almost anything with tremendous detail. One day, she was no longer able to draw like that and has never been able to recapture the ability.

Have you run across this problem with other children on the spectrum? Is there anything we can do to "find" her piano skills? She is simply starting over from step one right now.


Michelle, this is very sad. I have never heard that this can happen to children unless they have taken a long break from their music. I HAVE seen massive regression in young children who have taken a year off from lessons, but nothing sudden such as what you describe.

I am not knowledgeable or qualified in any way to render a valid opinion about what has happened to her, but her loss of ability makes me think of how Alzheimer's sometimes works on the brain. I'm wondering if perhaps her parents should seek medical advice.

But if this is something that is not uncommon with kids on the spectrum, I would sure like to hear about it... Has anyone else encountered this situation?

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Child with Asperger's who has lost her ability or the urge to play piano... can it be because of changes in her life?
by: aussieteacherPete

I work with many Aspergers students and have done for many years both as a classroom and as a private music teacher.

My experience has been that this form of expression blockage is usually linked to change of some type... unexpected change of school, sudden change of classroom processes including seating, change of home enviroment in some way, or change in the day-to-day persons the child comes in contact with on a regular basis. Or, sadly, bullying which the classroom teacher or parent is unaware of.


Pete, this makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Memory Loss
by: Mary Aalgaard

I don't have any solutions. I work with a couple students on the spectrum, but have only seen progress, or great memory recall. That must be devastating. I wonder if this child has some other medical block.

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