My son Kyllian moves to the beat of his own drum

After an in-utero brain haemorrhage, my son Kyllian has speech delay and cerebral palsy in one arm and both legs. He can’t say most words and struggles to communicate his choices. Gesturing and pointing can also be a challenge. Imagine our shock when he started to communicate through song.

A young boy smiles holding yellow drumsticks whilst sitting on a woman's lap.

Drumming is Kyllian's jam

Rocking out and playing the drums wasn’t the first activity we thought of trying with Kyllian. But, over the summer, we started attending Sense Active's Drumming to Music sessions online. The sessions encourage children and young people to move to the music with upbeat songs. Kyllian loved it. Really loved it. The sheer joy on his face when he drums is enough to make us all feel extremely proud of him. A few months on from that first session, and he's hardly missed a week.

Into the unknown

One day when we were warming down from another lively session, Kyllian started to sing. Two little sounds came out - “ahhhh ahhhh” – repeating exactly what he had heard in the Frozen song “Into the Unknown”. He was telling us he wanted to listen to that song!

That moment was incredible. After a few more sessions, Kyllian was soon choosing which song he wanted to listen to by singing it (in his own way). It was wonderful to see Kyllian making his own choices through music. And it was all thanks to Sense. All in all, these sessions have created an environment where Kyllian can communicate in his own way. He grows in confidence each week, becomes more animated and gets enjoyment from doing the drumming exercises to the same songs so he can learn their beats and tunes. It's also helped us all connect with Kyllian as a family, guessing which song he'd like on next!

We’ve been attending the weekly sessions for a long while now, and Kyllian is singing along to even more songs in the sessions. Even his therapist is surprised and delighted at how far he has come. It is truly a joy to watch and see our little boy making his own choices.

Get involved: Join Kyllian at Sense Active’s weekly sessions

Sense Active offer a variety of online, telephone and face-to-face sessions for children or adults with complex disabilities. The sessions run from Monday to Saturday. To find out more visit sense.org.uk/sport or contact sense.active@sense.org.uk.




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