How an entire school choir embraced Dominic

Cathy Blatnik


When Dominic started seventh grade back in August, one of the electives he picked was Choir. I liked that he wanted to do Choir, because it meant that he would be with many of the same kids he has been with for the past couple of years. At the concerts, about 75% of the time he doesn’t sing, but stands there. He always gets assistance from one of the guys or gals to help him know where to stand and when to follow the choir when they go on and off the stage. No one seems to care that he isn’t singing, I’m just happy that he can stand there for long amounts of time and not fidget too much. That in itself is an accomplishment for a child with Autism, ADHD and Epilepsy.

Last month, after his Fall concert was over and the hubby and I were sitting in our seats and packing up our stuff, one of the girls in the choir came over and kissed Dominic on the cheek, it was very sweet. As we were leaving the auditorium, a bunch of his choir “mates,” were telling him what a good job he had done and were shaking his hand. I didn’t think that anything could top that experience. Well, I was wrong.

Wednesday, I got a message from his teacher that I had to send Dominic into school on Thursday wearing his choir “clothes.” The school choir would be singing in a Veteran’s Day assembly in the morning. Yesterday afternoon, Dominic’s teacher sent me a message that he had done a great job at the assembly. Cool. It’s always good to hear that!

Thursday evening, my cell phone rang. On the other end of the phone was one of the paraprofessionals that works in Dominic’s classroom. She said something along the lines of, “I was going to text you, but I decided I wanted to tell you this over the phone.” She went on to tell me that during his Choir class that he has at the end of his school day, the kids spent the bulk of the time writing letters to Veterans. She remarked that the 50 or 60 kids were all talking, so the noise level in the room was pretty loud.

Towards the end of the class time, Dominic walked over to the piano in the room where one of the girls in his class was softly playing. Once she noticed Dominic was waiting, she got up and let him sit down. He knows several songs to play on the piano, but he picked the Star Spangled Banner. She said as he played, the entire class got quiet and the kids were all watching and listening to him play.

When he was finished, the entire class clapped for him! She told me that the kids all love him and he loves them. Wow, just wow. These kids could choose to ignore Dominic or bully him because he is “different.” Instead, they have made the choice to embrace him!


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