Answer Key: Autism and Music

Autistic 13-year-old  Uses Music To Fight Bullies!

II. While Reading Tasks


  1. turnaround |ˈtərnəˌround|-noun-an abrupt or unexpected change, esp. one that results in a more favorable situation: it was a remarkable turnaround in his fortunes.
  2. autism |ˈôˌtizəm|-noun-a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
  3. outburst |ˈoutˌbərst|-noun-a sudden release of strong emotion: “she screamed at him about it one day,” said one source who witnessed the outburst.
  4. strategy |ˈstratəjē|-noun ( pl. strategies )-a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim: time to develop a coherent economic strategy | shifts in marketing strategy.
  5. outlet |ˈoutˌlet|-noun-a means of expressing one’s talents, energy, or emotions: writing became the main outlet for his energies.
  6. like a duck to water- idiom-to learn how to do something very quickly and to enjoy doing it  He’s taken to his new school like a duck to water.
  7. therapist |ˈTHerəpist|-noun-a psychoanalyst, psychologist, etc., who treats psychological problems; a psychotherapist: cost is one factor keeping them from the therapist ‘s couch.
  8. isolation |ˌīsəˈlāSHən|-noun-without relation to other people or things; separately: He never saw people, and lived in isolation for nearly 30 years.
  9. brag |brag|-verb ( brags, bragging , bragged ) [ reporting verb ]to say something in a boastful manner: he brags that he wrote 300 pages in 10 days.
  10. bully|ˈbo͝olē|- verb ( bullies, bullying, bullied ) [ with obj. ] use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants: a local man was bullied into helping them.

Sources: New Oxford American Dictionary , Idioms Dictionary

Reading Comprehension

True / False

  1.  T-But for 13-year-old Emmanuela, who goes by Mano, that A in band is a symbol.
  2. T- Mano has high-functioning autism.
  3. F- Barry would start giving her clarinet lessons.
  4. F- The first lesson, they spent 30 minutes just putting the instrument together.
  5. T-In music, you usually give about four or five commands per sentence.
  6. F- Children with autism need fewer instructions.
  7. T- He learned to speak Mano’s language, too.
  8. T- But once she got it, Mano took to the clarinet “like a duck to water.”
  9. F- Her speech has improved and she’s more focused in school, which has led to better grades.
  10. F- But by far the biggest change the Kolmans have seen has been the improvement in Mano’s social life.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage

I. -1. Mano has high-functioning autism.

II.-3-She also experiences sudden outbursts of anger and frustration.

III.-3-Barry had taught clarinet to other kids Mano’s age.

IV. Listening Activity   

Pre-Listening Vocabualry

  1. Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger disorder (AD), is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. The syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, studied and described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers.
  2. meltdown-Describes what happens when a person loses control of themselves. Life – reality at large- becomes overwhelming. They just can’t deal with it all. The person may act out, withdraw, become emotional, run, shout, scream, etc.
  3. blackout shades Blackout shades and blackout curtains are window treatments used to prevent light from getting into a room. The more expensive of these, and they can be quite expensive depending on extra features, can run over $100 US Dollars (USD) for a small window. They can completely block light from a room, and might be used in professional applications, such as in businesses that need darkness for audio/visual presentations. For home use, blackout shades or even room darkening shades may by ideal to reduce light energy to a room, and thus reduce the room’s temperature.
  4.  to fall off the cliff – To experience defeat, depression, or in the case of children with Autism  and Aspergers symptoms having another meltdown.
  5. to push over the edge – if an unpleasant event pushes someone over the edge, it makes them start to behave in a  negative manner; usually losing temper, screaming and behaving badly.
  6. push his buttons Form the video the phrase “ Understanding what will push his buttons” means understanding the things that will upset him.
  7. to blow up means to lose control and get angry.
  8. perspective  a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view: most guidebook history is written from the editor’s perspective.

Sources: Wikipeia, Urban Online Dictionary, Wise Geek.

While Listening Exercises

  1. F- Children with Autism  and Aspergers symptoms often have melt downs.
  2. T-A meltdown can be occur if they become overwhelmed at a store, or when playing a game.
  3. F-The first tip to prevent meltdowns is to understand why they occur.
  4. T-Children with Autism and Aspergers can become abusive both verbally and physically.
  5. F-It is crucial to find out if your child is being bullied at school.
  6. T-Solving the problem of bullying can be difficult.
  7. T-School officials should be notified if your child is being bullied.
  8. NA- Children with Autism  and Aspergers need to exercise on a regular basis.
  9.  F-Tip Number Two is to find a safe place for your child.
  10. T-The safe place should include darkness and quiet.
  11. T-Tip Number 3 involves watching for signs of  a meltdown before it happens.
  12. F-Children with Autism and Aspergers are very sensitive to smells, sounds, and touch.
  13. T- Tip Number 4 is to always try to understand from their perspective what is causing the anger and frustration.