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Antone Hits His High Notes with FMS

Through Accra’s FMS program, Antone receives much needed therapy as he aims to be a voice for the voiceless

Before Antone discovered Accra, he felt unheard and frustrated, unable to take control of his own life. He felt as though his previous homecare services were keeping him down.

“It seemed like they were holding me back and not moving me forward. It seemed like they didn’t want to listen,” Antone said.

Originally from Los Angeles, Antone is now 51 years old, lives in Minneapolis and is diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Unfortunately, he’s had to work hard to find not only the right services and providers, but the right community.

“I never really had much of a family, and whatever family I did have, they shunned me because I had autism,” Antone said. “My family has been my friends and my support team.”

Since switching to Accra four years ago, Antone feels like things have improved. He has more of a voice and more control than he had with previous programs.

“It’s been really good so far,” Antone said.  “They’ve helped me a lot.”

Equestrian Calming Effect

Antone receives Consumer Directed Community Services (CDCS) through Accra. Part of the Financial Management Services program, CDCS is a service option for people on the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) and Alternative Care (AC) programs. CDCS allows people like Antone to have flexibility and responsibility to self-direct their own services.

Under CDCS, parents, spouses, family members, trusted neighbors or friends of the client can be paid for providing services. The program makes it easier for Antone to buy groceries, manage doctor appointments and complete other activities of daily living.

Additionally, Antone accesses horse therapy services. Having grown up around horses, Antone has always had a love for them. Since starting horse therapy, his mental health has significantly improved. Antone is a horse whisperer, which involves talking to them face-to-face and special massaging techniques. He also enjoys horseback riding, giving them treats and taking them for walks.

“Horse therapy is better than any psychologist or psychiatrist I’ve ever had,” Antone said. “Horses in the country are my calming effect.”

Finding His Voice

Horse whispering isn’t Antone’s only vocal skill. He also invented what he calls the “Mouth guitar.”

“When I was little, I started listening to a lot of great guitar players, and I remember hearing about the development of air guitar, so I decided that I should bring this to the next level but with no music or instruments in the background whatsoever,” Antone said.

Antone makes the sounds of a guitar with his voice, changing the sound with various shapes of his mouth. His favorite groups to cover are The Clash and The Who.

Antone’s one-of-a-kind talent caught the attention of local media several decades ago. He appeared on Dark Star’s late night radio show on WCCO, and it took off from there. He has performed on FOX 9 and KSTP, and with acapella groups in Japan and New Zealand. And over the last couple years, he has posted hundreds of mouth guitar videos to his YouTube channel.

KFAN listeners know Antone as ‘Mouth Guitar Guy’ because he has been a recurring guest on the station for over two decades. Since the year 2000, Antone has appeared on The Common Man’s program at the Minnesota State Fair where ‘Common Man’ Dan Cole and Antone perform “Dueling Mouth Guitars,” a spin on the popular song, “Dueling Banjos”.

“I’ve had a pretty huge following at the fair. Kind of like my home away from home,” Antone said.  “I’m a voice for the voiceless.”

Like with every great vocalist though, there comes a time for fewer shows. So, on Sept. 4, Antone concluded his farewell tour with a final State Fair performance on KFAN. But he assures his fans that he will continue posting videos on YouTube and maybe even perform again at the Los Angeles County Fair.

While Antone has enjoyed living in Minnesota and working with Accra, he is mulling over a move back to his original home in California.

“I’m 51 years old, going to be 52 in December and I feel like I really would like to return, “Antone said. “Accra has been a really good team for me. I hope to continue with them for as long as I can.”

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