As stated in books of the Hebrew tradition, Michael is one of the seven archangels and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, he is portrayed as the leader of heaven’s armies, and thus is considered the patron saint of soldiers, a spear in his hands.
In Brazil, more precisely in Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro, lives a boy called Miguel (Michael, in Portuguese); also a fighter like his name means. But instead of a spear, Miguel has two small “weapons’ on his hands: two drumsticks.
Miguel Martins Teles is an eight-years-old boy who has a gift, almost as rare as his condition; Miguel is autistic. When he was one and a half year old, his mom, Flavia Martins, knew in her heart that her son might be autistic. However, the diagnose came a year and a half later, when Miguel was three.
Considered as having Moderate ASD (Moderate Autism Spectrum Disorder), Miguel, mother Flavia and father Gustavo Teles face some challenges that come with it. One of them is a communication deficit, once he is not quite verbal and usually talks by echolalia (unsolicited repetition of vocalizations made by another person that is automatically repeated without awareness, at once or delayed). In spite of those obstacles and some more, Miguel rose above them all to present a talent not known before he turned four-years-old, as an outstanding drummer.
Flavia, also a musician, tells that Miguel always listened to music with her. She sings and plays the sweet flute, transverse flute, piano, tambourine, and castanets. One day, Miguel got a present from his paternal grandmother, a toy drum. Flavia says, laughing: “He broke it on the same day!” After that, she and Gustavo gave him a stronger one. Nowadays, Miguel has a professional one, electronic, a present from his maternal grandmother. In his studio, there are several other musical instruments.
Asked how autism influenced her family’s life, Flavia says some touching words: “I look at autism as a daily challenge about overcoming, learning, determination and hard access. It demands an understanding of a universe as peculiar and specific, within which I often need to guess what my son feels, what he wants to say; trying to understand his stress, his anxieties, his repetitive movements, fears, anguish, and meltdowns. All of that make us choose different paths than most families, like loneliness, sadness, guilt, frustration, distance from friends and some judgment in the family circle.”
According to Flavia, Miguel is the happiest when he plays drums: “He gets so happy, fulfilled; play drums is a way for him to get rid of his anxieties.” Flavia believes her son could be an exceptional drummer.
A belief shared by millions of Brazilians who recently watched him perform at the prime-time Brazilian National TV-show, Encontro (Encounter). In honor of the last International Autism Awareness Day, April 2, the popular TV-show invited a couple of gifted autistic youngsters and their families, to talk about Autism & Talent. One of them was Miguel, who flabbergasted the audience. The little boy could hardly rest before being allowed to perform at the program. Having difficulties waiting, the excited Miguel would rather run to the place where the drums were set for him to play. But, once he sat behind the drums, he turned into another child. Miguel rose above; not an autistic boy anymore, but a real artist.
Flavia’s dream is to turn her written project into reality: an Educational Institute for autistic children whose curriculum will be adapted to them and not otherwise. In addition to it, this environment would offer them a variety of workshops preparing them for the work market according to their particular talents.
Looking at her son with the sweetness of a mother who experiences unconditional love, Flavia says: “I learn more with him than with myself. He allows me to enter his world in an artistic and playful way. Through play and music, we communicate and get to know each other.
We have crossed a series of difficulties but won significant victories. Today, Miguel looks at us most of the time; he does many activities by himself, he helps us with simple chores and, of course, he has this incredible, natural talent to play drums.”
Miguel’s work can be followed on a Facebook page his parents created to make his work public. Who knows, who might help this little boy to become what he’s meant to be: an angel, bringing joy through his music around the world, with drumsticks in his hands.
Miguel Teles Baterista Autista
youtube: Miguel puro rock