Alvin HS band makes adjustments for special needs member

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by Tim Wetzel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 2:17 PM

ALVIN, Texas -- High school football wouldn't be the same without a school band and at Alvin High, the band wouldn't be the same without Jacob Robicheaux.

Jacob is a sophomore with special need. At first he started just pretending to play along with the band.

"When you have a child born with down syndrome, all you think about is what he's not going to be able to do," said his mother, Cathy Robicheaux. "I never thought he would be part of the band."

But band members and their teachers wanted to make sure Jacob was included.

"We put our heads together and came up with some different ways to get him in the show," said band instructor Andres Aya.

They kept things simple, basic instruments like chimes and color coded drumsticks.

"A kid will give him that different stick, and he will then now when to play," said Aya.

After about a year of practice, Jacob now plays with the full band during half time and band competitions.

"When he plays his chimes you can hear it - it's a part of the show," said Cathy Robicheaux.

Jacob is quickly becoming a favorite among fellow members of the band.

"He just brings a smile to everyone's face," said Gerald Hurtado. "I might have done bad on a test but I see Jacob and he hugs me and smiles, I can't help but to smile back at him."

Jacob's mom watches from the stands.

"Just seeing him play, it just moves me, it just makes me want to cry, it makes me so happy."

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