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Father's Day: in music he found a way to communicate with his son with autism


Gabriel Rubinstein is a renowned economist. Pablo is 35 years old and hardly speaks. With a guitar and a computer, they create songs together.

Javier Firpo

06/20/2021 12:10 AM

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 06/20/2021 8:29 AM

Pablo is sitting comfortably in the living room armchair, crossed legs, next to his inseparable mate.

His gaze is fixed downward and

with the tips of his right hand he makes


with the thermos


That movement is repeated, he likes what he hears and with a slight smile he looks for the complicit gaze of Gabriel, his father, who returns a mixed gesture of love and admiration: "Let's see, Pablo, I'm playing the guitar, humming and you I wrote the lyrics, let's see what we get. "

Pablo is 35 years old and both were diagnosed with autism

. He speaks very little, less when there are people he does not know, as in this case with the presence in his house of


. He performed alternative therapies, various treatments and was musically stimulated by Perla Gonilski, his pianist mother, and by Gabriel Rubinstein, an economist, but also a musician and singer. "It would be interesting to comment on the pandemic / As for example it

would be nice to know what they feel / The parents of people with anxiety

." Pablo surprises with this first stanza that springs up spontaneously.

The Rubinsteins' exercise is moving: Gabriel is with his guitar on the couch next to his son, strumming and humming, a combo that stimulates Pablo, who with

a computer keyboard on his lap squeezes enthusiastically


Agile, Gabriel watches as his son types and writes words that form sentences, while humming, playing the guitar and

stroking the boy's back or neck, an essential contact


"Describing it costs more than doing it, in an hour we can have a song," says Rubinstein.

Gabriel and Pablo Rubinstein are father and son.

The boy has autism but together they managed to make music the language with which they communicate.

Photo Emmanuel Fernández

The economist details that the composition mechanics, which they have been oiling for more than five years, are fresh and dynamic. "I write what Paul typing.

When something does not understand or does not make sense, I read it

and asked: '? Do you think it is so good

..' And correct or continue forward when the song ends is the I go over the whole thing to see if she agrees and once we are convinced we record it ".

Father and son made music a bridge that unites two distant shores, that it be their everyday language, their means of contact, communication and understanding. Gabriel polished this engineering

to break that barrier, the autism disorder that prevents him from socializing

Pablo with the outside world. But, how did the


venture come 

about? "I was a musician all my life and for about 20 years Pablo

always told me 'I want you to play'

. And I did songs by the Beatles, Almendra, and he always got hooked".

Musical maker, Gabriel began to improvise


with his guitar and piano, under the watchful eye "and keen ear" of his son and most faithful spectator.


Why don't you help me compose the lyrics, Pablo?"


He proposed him back in 2015, in a moment of relaxation, which shook the boy's drowsiness, which caught on like a tick.

"And so, suddenly, it became everyday and

I noticed that we were flowing, that I was paying attention, that I was enjoying it

and it became our favorite activity."

Daddy's living room, Pablo's refuge

In the Rubinstein's spacious living room,

Gabriel is the voice, Pablo the pure image.

It is silent but absolutely nothing is lost of what happens, it is a sponge.


has a great telepathic capacity, sometimes his poetry to write

, his high vocabulary

surprises me

, especially considering that he is not in school," says his father. 

Despite the disruptive presence of the chronicler and photographer, Pablo looks calm, embraced by the omnipresent voice of his father, who does not spend a minute without some affectionate gesture, without being cloying.

Perhaps due to his profession, Gabriel denotes a paucity that is diluted when he makes music with Pablo.


The musical re-signifies us and it is by far the activity that he enjoys the most

and the one that surprises me the most".

Gabriel had mentioned telepathic ability, who explains that "Pablo gave me ample proof of knowing what my mother or I think.

Although it seems incredible, he captures what I am thinking.

For example, if we are on the street or in the car, he will I say that I am looking at something and he perceives it and tells me. He has a very sensitive, very deep perception, but he does it with the people with whom he shares a lot. It is a skill that if you do not see, you do not believe, that is why I do not want to let this be confusing. "

"I am writing what Pablo types. When there is something that I do not understand or does not make sense, I read it to him and I ask him. 'Does it seem like this to you?'

Photo Emmanuel Fernández

Pablo does not move from the chair. He is very comfortable with his mate and does not slacken with the musical movement of his hand with the thermos. And on his face the subtle smile freezes. Gabriel tries another song, already done, called "We don't say anything." She sits next to him to generate the connection, Pablo feels that loving custody and they remember the lyrics: "

Your desire to think does not shake me / I need to be able to communicate

/ It would be very logical for you to look at what I am." The song written by Pablo, with a melodic style, oriental? can be heard on YouTube.

They do not leave their amazement at the level and meaning of their sentences, Perla, his mother, or Gabriel, with whom Pablo spends three times a week. "I never considered the possibility of institutionalizing him,

I have a very intense relationship with my son, I am very attached, as long as I am, I would never do it

... We explore, discover and meet both in this house, where he likes to be very much, or when we go out. He loves to drive, we can spend hours enjoying it. "

When he got older it became more difficult, "

physically today it would be impossible for me to handle him in a situation in which he does not feel well

, because if there is something he does not like, there is no chance of reversing it, we have to leave where we are, as we did. It happened in a paradisiacal cabin in Brazil. I think that a ten-hour plane trip, something that was controllable when I was younger, today would be an insurmountable obstacle.

He rightly asks that we be patient with him, as he says in one of his songs

, but he has no patience. "

"I never considered the possibility of institutionalizing it, I have a very intense relationship, with a lot of attachment," says the father.

Photo Emmanuel Fernández

The duet made up of father and son has uploaded about 40 songs on YouTube and Spotify, where they can be found on five albums called "Rubi Stones" (short for Rubinstein).

Pablo does not cook, he does not travel or bathe alone, he does not tie his shoelaces, but in the musical world he is something else.


has an absolute ear for music, we spent long hours listening to everything

from Stravinsky, to King Crimson, the Beatles and even a lot of cumbia."

Pablo types and Gabriel takes notes without stopping humming or playing the guitar so that his son does not stop composing.

Photo Emmanuel Fernández

Although the years go by and the physical can take its toll, there is no mental exhaustion. "

I don't think of


as someone who is sick, but as a different being who comes from another planet

, with a very high spirit. I think the term special abilities fits him just right." Without pretending to be full of praise, he is convinced that Pablo "has a healthy, pure wisdom that

has nothing to do with this vertigo and restlessness in which we are immersed

. He knows there is a pandemic but it does not matter to him, anyway. when we go out we sometimes sing

'Despite the coronavirus, we are going to stick together.


He is caressed by music, gives him a good mood, although he does not take the initiative.

"Pablo is a leg, he accompanies you, but he doesn't start," points out Gabriel, who led New Oldies, a group that was a finalist in a Beatles band contest organized by The Cavern.

Daddy picks up the guitar again, strumming and humming.

Son gets excited and as it is leg he turns on and improvises.

"It has no cure, no hopes / Better to collect old grudges / Oh! I don't like knowing how to lie, they don't hurt me / You don't need to be afraid, fear in the soul / Oh! I don't like them. Human beings." 

The duet in action: Pablo types and pronounces the words, while feeling the embrace and warmth of Papa Gabriel.

Photos Emmanuel Fernández

In a little while, just, those phrases came out, which Gabriel, who never ceases to be amazed, musicalizes. "This is a parallel world and in my musical journey that is wide although not professional,

I never had a listener as concentrated and committed

as Pablo. He listens with attention, dedication and all the patience in the world. Sometimes, when he

is with the ducks blown up, we get a bellyful of varied rhythms and it starts to go down

, until it ends up wrapping it up ".

Beyond his occupations and responsibilities as an economist and consultant, Gabriel wants to be part of that galaxy he built with Pablo, he enjoys that routine gymnastics of picking him up at his mother's and taking him home.

We bet on little big things, like when you feel like riding a bike

, which you learned with a lot of effort, but it was one of those great achievements.

Everything we do that he wants, he remarks, ends in music.

Sometimes we see documentaries or stories of historical bands and we have a great time. "

"His autism never paralyzed me, I was always putting hands to work and doing what was good for him. If I saw Pablo happy, I was happy."

Photos Emmanuel Fernández

We travel back in time and Gabriel remembers that when he was diagnosed, he was not shocked. "

I lived it more naturally, it was always Pablo, my son

. Of course there were questions, a lot of 'And now what do we do?', But obstacles were overcome as they presented themselves. I never got paralyzed, yes I could. thinking and acting, I was always

putting hands to work and doing everything that was good for him. If I saw Pablo happy, I was happy

. "

"I slowed down when I arrived with you / I do not give up, modification / Who sent them to come here? /

My slowness in your cage / My soul is dead, my loneliness

/ Who sent them to come here? / And all that it is ours, it has no fear. " Gabriel shows some of the dozens of lyrics that his son created, "which has that striking facility to compose. I do not participate in the lyrics, only in the music," he makes clear.

Until Pablo was in his early twenties, Gabriel always took him on his work trips, they toured Europe, the Caribbean, Morocco, they went trekking in the mountains, mountaineering and even quadricycles in the sand. "We strengthened

the relationship, we got to know each other a lot

because the two of us spent a lot of time alone, sometimes in silence, without music, just us," compiled this father who from the beginning understood that it was he

who had to adapt to his son

. "

Nothing better than understanding the needs and adapting to it because

the frustrations multiplied everywhere


"Do you know how many rehearsals, tests, therapies, specialists and teachers we try to get him to talk to? You don't have an idea. Until his mother and I understood what he was trying to tell us but we didn't see it. '

Enough I don't want to be normal

! 'And we also said enough, the experiments are over, and here I am happy to celebrate my day with him. "


Look also

Autism: discover that bilingualism would bring benefits

Liliana Kaufmann: “A child with autism has no 'ceiling'.

Its transformations can be infinite "

Source: clarin

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