Ollie was born in 2007 to much celebration. We were still in the hospital when we noticed he had difficulty feeding and settling. On reflection, Ollie was also experiencing quite frequent seizures that went undiagnosed for nine months.
We spent much of the pre-school years of Ollie’s life in and out of hospital and engaging with various therapies and early intervention. Whilst we appreciated all the support Ollie received, it was often exhausting and made it difficult to just enjoy being parents.
The one thing that Ollie really seemed to always enjoy though was music.
PIANO LESSONS WITH DAPHNE
A chance encounter with an old school friend led us to Daphne. Over the last eight years, Daphne has patiently nurtured Ollie’s love of music. Our weekly lessons with Daphne were such a positive and rejuvenating experience that we could share together as a family. Ollie was finally being recognised for something that he could do, rather than the focus on what he couldn’t do that you so often encounter. As parents, this gave us a much needed sense of hope and encouragement. Progress has often been slow and fluctuating. Ollie is quite stubborn and only practices on his own terms. But Daphne has never given up on Ollie. He now plays with two hands and his repertoire is constantly expanding.
Ollie attends a mainstream school with the support of some amazing integration aides, teachers and peers. His learning journey however is quite different from his classmates but has most definitely been supported by learning piano. One of the most amazing things about learning piano, is that it has given Ollie the opportunity to show off his talents. He has been a frequent performer in his schools soirees, with Daphne often making a guest appearance to accompany Ollie at the end of year School concerts where they were both been loudly applauded as Ollie bowed and hi-fived his way off the stage.
NOW AND THE FUTURE
One of our family’s greatest joys has been watching Ollie listen to his sister practice cello and then teach himself her songs so they can perform them together. It is something that they can genuinely share and enjoy as siblings. Music will always be a very important part of Ollie’s life and we will be forever grateful to Daphne for the gift she has shared with all of us.