Music moves man with autism toward a better life

2 years 5 months 2 weeks 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 - The Princeton Review named the University of Missouri to three of its "best" lists. MU made the... More >>
30 minutes ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 6:16:51 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
Walt Disney once said, "All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." If your dream... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 5:25:44 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Simmons Bank, the Arkansas-based bank which bought Landmark Bank over the summer, confirmed some positions will be eliminated.... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 5:01:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Former Camden County sheriff's deputy Leonard Jerome Wilson pleaded guilty earlier today to receiving child pornography as... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 4:15:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - A grand jury indicted a man on October 11 for one count of child molestation. Robert Bosma,... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 3:33:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
HIGH POINT- In an effort to increase safety at school, High Point school district recently began arming select teachers. ... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 2:21:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri school districts found out Thursday how well they performed over the last school year following the release... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 2:17:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Leaders of a support group say their new "Reentry Opportunity Center" will help give recently released inmates the... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 1:46:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
FULTON - A man has been arrested after drug bust earlier this morning in Fulton. Antonio Jerome Beard, 43,... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 1:36:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri unemployment has decreased a tenth of a percent in the past month according to a new... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 1:10:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — A judge has ordered a man to repay most of a $2 million settlement he received after... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 12:50:00 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Rep. Elijah Cummings, a longtime Maryland Democrat and key figure leading investigations into President Donald Trump, has died... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:04:01 AM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Immaculate Conception Catholic Parish's discussion panel will center on the "Faith Response to Climate Change." The... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 7:30:00 AM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
FULTON – Callaway County has existed for nearly 200 years without taxes that support law enforcement or the county judicial... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 3:38:00 AM CDT October 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday morning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released an update to global land and ocean... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:49:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in Climate
MEXICO – A vape business owner defended their products after Governor Mike Parson released his ‘Clean the Air’ campaign Tuesday.... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:11:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Police chased a person through Columbia Wednesday night after they said the suspect failed to pull over for... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:07:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit Wednesday of the Insurance Dedicated Fund and the Insurance Examiners'... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 59°
7pm 57°
8pm 55°
9pm 53°
10pm 53°