ジェイミーのコンサート
お問い合わせ
 
名誉パトロン
日本の皆様へ
(ジェイミーのお母さん、ジャニスから、日本の皆さんに向けての手紙)
ジャニス・バラード=メザー
  私はNORIKOと20年来の友人です。同じ家で過ごした7年間、彼女はどんな時にも私の子供たちを支えてくれました。息子のジェイミーは現在16歳。美しく、優しい心を持った子ですが、愛らしいばかりとも言えません。彼は重度の自閉症児でイライラすることが多いのです。だからこそ、多くの問題に加え精神的打撃を克服しなければならない、私に似た状況にいるお母様方の気持ちが良くわかります。厳しい事実に直面したとき、親もまた多くのサポートを必要としているのです。NORIKOはこのことを良く理解してくれました。ジェイミーが寝つかない夜、私の気がすむまで、一緒に時間を過ごしてくれたものでした。NORIKOはそのなかで、たとえ難しい子供であるジェイミーでも、母親と強い信頼関係を築いた様子を見ていました。心がリラックスし、かつ強さを持っていることが、ジェイミーのような子供との対応には必要です。第一級の美しい音楽を聴き楽しまれ、心を和ませることが、気力の復活の大きな助けになることでしょう。…この試みが実を結び、お母様方に音楽の贈り物とケアをお届けできることを、私は確信しています。ジェイミーが幼少の頃、私がNORIKOから多くのサポートを受けたように。
名誉パトロン ジャニス・バラード=メザー
※手紙の原文です。

Letter from Patron of Jamie's Concert

 

Janice Ballard-Mather LTCL. BSc(Hons). MSc

 

Dear Friends in Japan,

I have known Noriko Ogawa for nearly nineteen years and we have developed a deep friendship and become very close. She has been very supportive of both myself and my children as they were growing up and through all the difficult early years of living with Jamie’s autism, Noriko helped me to cope.

Jamie, my son is now 16 years old. He is a beautiful child with a gentle, loving personality. But you don’t always see this side of him because he is severely autistic. This makes him very frustrated at times. He does not speak and his severe learning difficulties mean he does not understand how to communicate. Often it is a guessing game to decide what he wants and needs! But where he is happy you have to smile with him, he lifts your spirits to see him cope with all his problems, and he is loved dearly by all his family, friends and carers.

I know how hard it is as a mother to care for your autistic child. There are always the practical issues - lack of sleep, trying to communicate, trying to understand your child to name but a few. But also, there is the shock and grief to overcome. These very real and tangible feelings are very hard to deal with and parents need so much help and support. I know that Noriko recognized how difficult these feelings are. I remember how she would help me through the long nights when Jamie was awake for hours by talking to me, and helping me to relax. This is so important and I know Noriko was able to see that, although Jamie was not easy to care for, the bond between mother and child is just as strong as if he was just another normal child.

Keeping relaxed and strong is so important when caring for a child with special needs, it would be so good for mother of children with autism to be able to go to a first class concert and that they can really relax and enjoy beautiful music to calm their minds and lift their spirits. I know how much I appreciated listening to classical music. It meant so much to me to be able to have some time for myself.

I know the benefits of listening to music; I was for 20 years a classical musician, a Horn player. Then I studied for a degree in biology and then undertook a Masters Degree in Neuropsychology. I am now working for my PhD in Neuropsychology. The psychological benefits of having time to relax and stimulate one’s mind can make a real difference to the way you can give the best care to your autistic child and having a mother who is happy and at ease will be reflected in the way the child copes with all the difficulties they face in the world.

I wish Noriko and all the best for her venture and I know with her hard work and all her talents, she will succeed in giving mother of autistic children in Japan the gift of her support and care, that I was so grateful to receive when my Jamie was a small child.

 

Janice Ballard-Mather

 

 

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