Speech Pathology Associates
Awakening Ashley: Mozart Knocks Autism On Its Ear

Awakening Ashley: Mozart Knocks Autism On Its Ear

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At 18-months, Ashley still didn’t talk. When she wouldn’t turn around when her name was called, her hearing came into question. She fixated on minute pieces of dirt and only ate a diet of crunchy foods. She wrapped herself up in a thick fog—impenetrable to everyone, except for Barney the Dinosaur. She worked puzzles like a kindergartener and was computer savvy before she was two-years-old. Late-night searches on the Internet hinted at a reason. A neurodevelopmental specialist confirmed it. AUTISM—a communication and social interaction disorder—a diagnosis that shook the foundation of a family and shattered a mother’s world.

Ashley could hear. But she couldn’t listen. A therapy to retrain her ears to perceive sound better took her back to the time in the womb—where listening begins. With the help of Mozart, Ashley was awakened! Her brain’s desire to communicate was kindled, fostering a connection with her body, her family, and the world around her. Ashley had recovered!

But how could Sharon Ruben, a clinical researcher in her own right, convince the skeptics without clinical trial data to prove its effectiveness? She didn’t need data. She had Ashley—it was all the proof she needed!

"Too many families are devastated and left without hope by a diagnosis of autism. Awakening Ashley restores that hope. This is a story of Sharon Ruben’s courage to move beyond the label and her undying efforts to educate and advocate for her daughter’s recovery." —Valerie Dejean, Director, Spectrum Center, Bethesda, Maryland

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