Music moves man with autism toward a better life

3 years 1 month 1 day ago Friday, April 28 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT April 28, 2017 in News
By: Daytona Everett, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Music enhances and develops the life of 20-year-old Nathan Walton on a daily basis.

"I play a song beautifully," he said.

He played the piano for his largest audience yet at the Thompson Center's Arts for Autism event on April 17.

Nathan Walton went to the center until he was 18 years old. He ventured back to Columbia to perform after a referral from his former doctor.

That doctor, Tracy Stroud, said, “He struggled quite a bit with communication and with his social skills but he also had all along some really unique talents.”

Stroud said, when the Thompson Center asked if she had suggestions for an opening act, Nathan Walton’s name was the first to come to mind.

His passion for piano started when he was 8 years old.

“We had no idea he could play," his mother Marsha Walton said, "He just sat down and started playing every Christmas song in his head because it was Christmas Eve. He played for about thirty minutes.”

Stroud took Nathan Walton's musical abilities into account as she worked with him throughout the years. She said the support from his parents was tremendous and set him apart from her other patients.

His father, Jake Walton, said playing piano has made the largest impact on his son’s life and gives him a sort of acceptance from peers, especially the band program at school.

"When the band kids saw that he had musical talent and he was one of their peers, that was huge."

Nathan Walton's mother said also music made him "fit in."

“It kind of made him like everyone else," Marsha Walton said.

On top of piano, Nathan Walton also played several instruments in his middle school and high school bands.

“No one saw an autistic kid. They saw ‘hey that kid plays piano and percussion’,” his mother said.

Nathan Walton is an only child, which allows his parents more time toward preparing him for independence in the world.

"He has really great days where sometimes the autism is just very mild and then we have days where he just has classic autism," Marsha Walton said. "But for the most part he does really well.”

Nathan Walton said playing the piano makes him feel better and he enjoys playing in front of people.

His mother said, “If there can be icing on the cake for us as a family, Nathan’s musical abilities is that.”

Marsha and Jake Walton tell their son: "do your best but always have fun."

Nathan Walton's dream is to become a session player in Nashville for Warner Music.

Jake Walton said his only hope for his son is that he finds something he enjoys and continues to learn and try new things while keeping up with his music.

Marsha Walton said, “An autistic life isn’t normal for most people and no one can understand it until you live it, but God has been very good to us and to Nathan.”

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Two hair stylists at the downtown location of The Clip Joint have tested positive for COVID-19, KOMU 8... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 9:11:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
CENTRALIA – Corsages and boutonnieres filled Chance Gardens in Centralia as high school students lined up to take their prom... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 7:19:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. -- The Camden County Health Department said Friday a Boone County resident who has tested positive for... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 6:08:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Love Coffee received a surprise $10,000 donation from the Veterans United Foundation on Tuesday. The nonprofit will use... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 4:37:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 3:00:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians marched and held signs in Columbia on Friday morning to bring awareness to police brutality against African... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 1:52:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
CLARKSBURG, Mo. - Two people were arrested in Clarksburg, Mo., on drug charges after a search on May 21, according... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 1:32:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 12:46:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s only abortion clinic will be able to keep operating after a state government administrator decided... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 12:38:00 PM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri River is expected to reach moderate flood stage in Jefferson City, Glasgow and Hermann this weekend.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 11:30:00 AM CDT May 29, 2020 in Weather
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 6:39:00 AM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- A student at the West Location of Tiger Tots Academy has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 29 2020 May 29, 2020 Friday, May 29, 2020 6:37:00 AM CDT May 29, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – During his daily COVID-19 briefing Thursday, Governor Mike Parson announced an extension of the phase one reopening... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 8:42:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As Boone County moves into the next phase of reopening, hair salons can now open their doors to... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 6:17:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City Manager of Columbia announced plans to further cut city budgets due to the effects of COVID-19.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:42:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:40:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - While other sports adjust the game plan to respect social distancing, some are just playing things business... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:16:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City says it will begin bringing back faculty, staff and students... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 28 2020 May 28, 2020 Thursday, May 28, 2020 2:14:00 PM CDT May 28, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12pm 71°
1pm 73°
2pm 74°
3pm 74°