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“The real breakthrough came in Gareth’s sixth session. I started with some classical music to welcome Gareth and then moved into the song ‘Love Me Tender.’ As I began to sing the first line, Gareth immediately lifted his torso to make himself more upright and looked directly towards me. I continued, and as I reached the last line of the verse, Gareth sang it too – every word and it was perfectly pitched! Before this moment I had only heard Gareth say ‘yes’, and now here he was singing a whole phrase. He sang a few more words as I continued, his body completely upright. We reached the end and I played on, asking Gareth if he’d like to sing the first verse again. He replied with a keen ‘yeah’, and then proceeded to sing almost every single word with me. I repeated the last line but left it unfinished for Gareth to complete – and he sang it in a moment of deep connection.
The two support workers in the room were surprised and elated, and other members of the professional team were amazed when I recounted that Gareth had sustained fifty minutes of active engagement.”