Years ago, long before he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of twenty-one, Donald Rindale described music as “the only love of my life.” It’s different for Donald now. “Honestly, if my trombone got run over by a tank, I’d be delighted,” he asserts, adding that being a musician “was a wonderful chapter of my life, but that page has long been turned.” We first meet Donald as a musicology graduate student on the verge of falling out of love with musicology and in love with the study of law. At chapter’s end some four years later, he has just graduated from law school and is envisioning a legal career involving autism and disability advocacy. But Donald retains a nostalgic fondness for music, which in his reckoning has been kinder to him than most people have: “The music did not laugh, or judge, or make nasty comments, or quizzical facial expressions and gestures at the sight of some unexpected behavioral tendencies, among other things. For those reasons, I will always love it.”
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