Reply To: band for kids with special needs
In beginning band I rarely have any of my kids on “real” snare drums because my groups are small. If you have a multitude of percussionists you could have them all on drum pads and only one on a “real” drum at a time and rotate them. Than the special needs students get the experience, socialization and everything else the parents are looking for and for their one song they still get to play a “real” drum.
When I have had autistic students our rehearsals are before school so the parents had to come and be the para that the school would not provide before school. This allowed them to see and experience the ensemble themselves and understand that is was not me keeping them from playing a “real” drum, but so that the entire ensemble could be heard and not drowned out by the percussion section.