The Heavy Metal Adventures of Melissa and The Iron Giant

When I started the heavy metal therapy page, I really wanted it to be for people to contribute stuff and there to be community ownership of the project. So I was very excited when people started contacting me with their videos, favorite quotes, playlists and stories. One of the first people to do that was Melissa, we’ve never met, but we got talking online about her son who has autism, and goes by the name of ‘The Iron Giant’ on the local metal scene (how cool is that???). Here’s what she told me about their story:

I would be honoured to welcome you into mine and The Iron Giant’s fold!

Melissa and the Iron Giant with the band UADA

The Iron Giant was born in the middle of a local metal band called Rivet, his father sang/growled backup vocals and played keyboards. I’ve been taking him to shows since he was 6 and we’re avid supporters of local musicians especially. He gets it because me and his father are metalheads and a village of metalheads helped raise him!😉🤘🖤

With Carach Angren

He got the name on the scene because of his personality and he’s so tall. At first I would say things like “he’s my big friendly giant kiddo!” or “the gentle giant” then someone (I don’t remember who) called him The Iron Giant at a show and the nickname sorta stuck 😂

Us with Wicked One from ThyAntichrist

The Iron Giant is a “go with the flow” kind of guy and people seem to flock to him because he’s just so happy all of the time. He’s good at making friends, even though he’s mostly nonverbal. Autism is mostly a social disability. The Giant has broken those barriers and stereotypes. I’m immensely proud of him! People love him at the shows.

Watching local band Suppressive Fire

I think he likes metal because of the awesome drumbeats and the mood it creates, he especially enjoys black metal (he enjoys the witchy screaming vocals 🤣)…

He’s learning drums and plays around with various other instruments and I’ve overheard him trying to mimic vocals on occasion.

On the videos you can see that he wears sound cancelling headphones. They have helped him a lot with focus and social interaction.

Enjoying some At the Gates

Autism is a way of being and a legitimate part of human existence… I’m honoured to have given birth to such a child and he has brought me immense joy and happiness. And he IS happy, which is the most important thing to me… his happiness and encouraging others to be inclusive of neurologically diverse people… if we didn’t have autism in our lives? We would be left with a bunch of people in a cave socializing and getting nothing done!

With Hellhammer