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!
Music therapy is a valuable part of many therapy programs. There is evidence that shows music to have many benefits for those struggling with speech and communication challenges, so bringing more music and rhythm into the classroom, therapy room, and home can be one more option for improving these skills. Whether you are looking to create some homemade music instruments for music therapy to save money, or because you have a child like mine who loves the creating part of the process as much as anything else, try some of these easy homemade instruments for kids that are great for music therapy – and for playtime. Continue reading
How Speech Therapy and Music Can Work Together to Help Those with ASD
If your child has been diagnosed with ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder – you already know about some of the hurdles they face. While Autism doesn’t have characteristic physical features, like other brain abnormalities and injuries it is often marked by depressed or delayed communication skills, making interacting with the world so much harder. It sometimes feels as if there is an invisible barrier between your child and the people and experiences that make up your community. New approaches with music in speech therapy have been showing great promise for kids with Autism – from high functioning Autistic children to nonverbal Autistic children. Music therapy in general has been used for decades to treat anything from cognitive to behavioral to social disorders. Now speech-language therapists are finding the benefits of this therapy method to help their Autistic patients. 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.
We all know the brain works in mysterious ways, but every so often we are reminded of just how magical it is. This is particularly so when we examine it’s response to music in populations with Language disorders as a speech therapy technique. By now, you may have seen this video of American Idol contestant Lazaro Arbos’ audition. While his rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is astounding enough, watch what happens to his rather severe stutter when he begins to sing: