The San Diego Central Library. Photo by Navid Serrano via Wikimedia Commons
The San Diego Central Library. Photo by Navid Serrano via Wikimedia Commons

This Monday evening, the San Diego Central Library is having a free documentary screening about the musical journey of a young autistic man. This special sneak preview of “Base Clef Bliss: Terrence’s Path” will begin at 6:30 pm. The film will officially open at some point in April 2016, the month of Autism Awareness. After the film, the cast and director will have a Q&A session with the audience. They will also host a discussion about the challenges and joys a family must face when raising a child with autism.

Terrence Patridge playing the trombone. Screenshot from Base Cleff Bliss trailer.

The documentary was filmed mainly in San Diego. It follows the path of Terrence Patridge, a musically gifted young man with autism, and his mother, Therese Davis, whose love and determination supported him throughout his developing career in music. With Patridge’s talent and Davis’s support, Patridge successfully gains independence and a burgeoning musical career. Today, he is able to play with orchestras, theater productions, jazz ensembles and church choirs.

At a young age, it became clear that Terrence was experiencing a unique challenge. Terrence’s speech disappeared while he was still a toddler. His mother watched as he withdrew into himself; the few words he was able to speak gradually disappeared and he began repetitive rocking motions.  Then, he became extremely sensitive to sound, causing him to frequently erupt into temper tantrums seemingly out of proportion with the level of stimulus around him. It wasn’t until Terrence reached four years of age, that he received his diagnosis with autism.

In “Bass Clef Bliss: Terrence’s Path,” Therese searches for a way to ease the pain of her struggling child, Terrence. They ultimately find a way to open up a new world for him through music. The child’s musical therapist is the first person to discover his musical inclination, even teaching him to brush his teeth using music. When he is given a trombone, Terrence exceeds everyone’s expectations, and he is discovered to have perfect pitch.

Drama House Productions, LLC, based in La Jolla and Bklyn2LA are the production companies who produced the film. The film especially encourages families of children with disabilities to attend the event.