Raukatauri Music Therapy – Changing Lives Through Music
Every Wednesday, Xavier Faughey goes to one of his favourite places in the world, Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre in West Auckland. Here, Xavier is able to have fun, to sing, to connect with people and to express all the emotions he can’t communicate. It’s an incredible achievement, and a vital treatment for Xavier, who was diagnosed with autism at three years old.
Xavier’s mum Adele says the progress Xavier has made is nothing short of miraculous. Diagnosed as being ‘midway’ on the autistic spectrum, Xavier is extremely sensitive to noise, and likes to wear ear muffs whenever he’s in a new or unfamiliar situation. But when he goes to Raukatauri, Xavier likes nothing more than to use all the instruments at his disposal – drums and kazoos included – to have fun, to make sense of his world and to express the feelings that are so hard for him to articulate in any other way.
Music therapy is becoming more popular as a way to allow people with a variety of special needs, including intellectual, physical, developmental and emotional disabilities, to find a voice, a way of expression that helps them grow and heal. Thanks to the support he receives from Raukatauri, Xavier has even been able to perform in public, first getting on stage at nine years old at a special needs fundraiser at Green Bay School. “The music therapy is the way we’ve found to reach our kid. It’s been on the money for our little guy,” says Xavier’s dad Daniel.
A Welcome Financial Boost
Xavier’s treatment is thanks to support from West Auckland initiative The Trusts Million Dollar Mission, who have provided a $50,575 donation to Raukatauri to help people like Xavier. The Million Dollar Mission was set up to provide support to community groups and charities wherever it is needed, and however big or small the need. The Mission provides $1 Million dollars in funding every year to community and voluntary groups in West Auckland, giving hope and support to charities, families and individuals in need of help.
Xavier’s parents have tried to help Xavier in as many ways as possible, including with gymnastics, extra tutoring and occupational therapy, but it’s the connection he gets through music at Raukatauri that has made the difference.
You can read more stories from organisations doing great work in West Auckland here or find out more about how The Trusts give back to West Auckland here.