Joanne did music therapy with Max starting when he was four until she moved away last year and got married. When she walked in the door of our vacation rental, Max laughed and laughed, which is what he does when he's too gleeful to say anything. Sabrina gave her a big hug; she often sat in on their sessions.
All of the therapists who have worked with Max have had a special relationship with him. But there are a few who've been with Max for years and years, ones who have seen Max mature and develop—and played an integral part in that. Joanne has gone through many Max phases, including his fascinations with purple, spaghetti, car washes and Cars 2, and come up with songs for all of them. She knows him.
I was often at work when Joanne came by, but I sat in on many sessions with the Early Intervention physical and occupational therapists. I have a special place in my heart for them, and not just because of what they enabled Max to do or the tips they gave me to best help him. These therapists saw me at my worst, when I was despondent about what the future held for Max. As they worked and exercised his muscles, and I asked a million questions and expressed a billion fears, they provided therapy for me. They gave me hope, a scarce resource back then.
Max has always been glad to see his therapists. He doesn't think of it as work, per se, both because it's been a natural part of his life since he was a month old and because I've always requested that therapists refer to what they do as play. But therapy done with a guitar is going to automatically be more enjoyable, and so Max has always been particularly giddy for Joanne sessions.
Before Joanne arrived, Max kept telling me he didn't want Sabrina to hang out with them. Here's the "Hello" song Joanne usually sings to start a session. She's trying to get Max to say hello to Sabrina—except he kept saying "Fireman Max." And cracking up, because he knew it wasn't fair to hog Joanne. We were all laughing, including Sabrina.
But right after the "Hello" song, Sabrina jumped in, and then the three of them jammed for an hour and made videos.
The wonderful Joanne works in the Jacksonville, NC, area; here's her Facebook page and email@example.com is her email.