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This remarkable book describes the progression of three nonverbal autistic music therapy clients from a state of inward frustration and an inability to communicate it towards a liberating ability to express, through Facilitated Communication, the thoughts and feelings stimulated by hearing and playing music.

Ginger Clarkson’s method of music therapy involves creating a ‘journey’ out of hearing a piece of music. Her clients, Jerry, Scott and Twyla are encouraged to create expressive ‘dream’ images using music as a catalyst and are able to overcome spoken language difficulties by using a computer keyboard as a medium for communication. Through these detailed case studies, I Dreamed I was Normal demonstrates how the Nordoff Robbins and Helen Bonny methods of music therapy can be adapted successfully for use as an intervention for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

This book is a valuable addition to the literature on both music therapy and therapies for autism for families of people with ASDs and professionals working with them, music therapists and students in the field.

Reviews

Ginger Clarkson is an expressive and talented writer who touches us emotionally and instructs us intellectually to open our minds to those of the autistic. From her twenty-five years' experience in treating autism she demonstrates through intimate portraits of three of her clients the capacity music has to break down barriers, and uncover a vast and beautiful inner world.
Helen L. Bonny, author of Music and Your Mind