Looking for ways to help your child with special needs accomplish their speech and language goals? Why not try music therapy? “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidenced-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program,” according to the American Music Therapy Association. Music therapy can effect changes in a child’s behavior and facilitate development in communication, social/emotional, sensory-motor, and/or cognitive skills. We got out to have some fun with special needs music therapy in NYC!
Got the Tent? Check!
Got the Sleeping Bags? Check!
Got the Bug Spray? Check!
Got the Speech Therapy Activities? Check!
Wait a minute, speech therapy camping activities? This summer, while planning your camping trip, why not use this quality family time as an opportunity to work on speech therapy skills. Board games are an excellent way to reinforce good speech and language habits and are easy to pack along, but you may also want to take advantage of the outdoor game board! The sights, sounds and smells of good ol’ fashioned camping! A recent article in Parents Magazine touted the many benefits of camping, including helping children become more environmentally conscious, and reducing symptoms of boredom and ADHD.
“Kids today are spending more time indoors and plugged into a screen, so camping is a great activity because it gets them outdoors, whether they’re hiking or telling ghost stories by the fire,”
says Meri-Margaret Deoudes, spokesperson for the National Wildlife Federations’s Be Out There initiative, which encourages kids to get outside.
We finalize our in-depth look at tools for speech therapy with Music. Yes…music can truly be an effective tool for speech therapy! Think about it, rhymes, patterns, sounds and movement all help bring about speech language comprehension and articulation. According to “Use of Music in Speech-Language Therapy,” an article by Mary B. Zoller, “Using music is a multi-sensory experience that enhances a number of other skills that impact on speech and language development.” The use of music as a speech therapy tool serves to energize and engage a child, and encourages the child to actively participate. And the good news? You do not need to be a musician or a great singer to reap the benefits of music as therapy! Even using a silly voice and acting out the lyrics is helpful in engaging your child and a way to get them to listen attentively and unknowingly engage them in speech therapy exercises. As we have mentioned throughout this series, this does not serve to replace a proper evaluation or treatment from an SLP, rather music as a tool for speech therapy that you can do at home or in conjunction with your current speech therapy regime. Continue reading
Perhaps you’ve had an impromptu dance party or found yourself making the dinnertime routine into a little song. If so, you’ve already discovered that music makes many things better, including language learning. For children who need speech and language therapy, music can be essential. It is motivating, familiar, rhythmic and stimulates a variety of senses. It might have a calming effect on some making it easier to learn and listen and attend. Using music in speech therapy often gives a great opportunity to use visual cues like hand motions or gestures along with the lyrics to help reinforce concepts in a motivating medium. The repetition is also useful in reinforcing words and concepts on a frequent basis.
Sometimes, even the most verbally hesitant child will launch into his favorite song without a second thought. Music truly is a universal language, whether you’re singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” or picking out some elegant harp arrangements for your walk down the aisle. And because music is so highly portable, it makes an excellent tool for speech therapy sessions on the road or wherever your summer vacation takes you. Sing favorite nursery rhymes with your child on car trips. As well, check out some of our recommended singing apps for your iPad or iPhone.