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Novel’s Story: A parent’s perspective - a musical journey with our child with special needs

Caregiver to Daughter with developmental condition

Realising that her daughter, Heidi, was not reaching the developmental milestones for children her age, Mrs Novel Chee and her family consulted various medical professionals and learned that Heidi has Williams Syndrome – a genetic disorder that often leads to development delays and mild to moderate intellectual disability. Learning of Heidi’s condition, Mrs Chee’s and her family’s main concern was supporting Heidi and helping her bridge her development gaps.

From speech therapy to occupational therapy, neurofeedback and educational therapy, Mrs Chee explored a multitude of therapies and classes to enable Heidi to overcome the challenges brought on by her condition. Through their attendance in church, they noticed Heidi’s love for music and how it helped her focus. Mrs Chee thus registered Heidi for music lessons, where teachers noticed Heidi’s innate understanding of rhythm and beat and recommended drumming lessons to bring out this talent. Through their support group, the family found an instructor who had experience teaching music to children with special needs to teach Heidi to play the drums.

After a few sessions, Mrs Chee purchased an electronic drum set for Heidi to practise with at home. After school, Heidi gravitates to her drum set to stay occupied and regulate her emotions. Through Mrs Chee’s encouragement and Heidi’s persistence, Heidi has become a proficient drummer, quickly learning new songs to play on the drums and winning second place in her school’s talent competition after a short 6 months from the start of her drumming lessons.

Mrs Chee continues to champion her daughter’s love for music, finding more platforms for Heidi to showcase her talent. She hopes that Heidi’s passion for music brings hope and joy to others.

Read Mrs Novel Chee’s full story here, and explore MINDS’ programmes supporting caregivers here.


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