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A Non-Verbal Child Learns How to Communicate

Scott is a 5-year-old who has a natural affinity to music.  Every time he hears it in the mall, or during a walk, or when it is turned on in his own house, he will stop whatever he is doing and start rocking back and forth, dancing to the music.  In other areas Scott is behind his peers – he rarely speaks and when he does, he speaks in brief words that are difficult to understand. Because of his love of music, his parents wonder what more music can offer him.

GOAL – To help Scott improve his verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

WHAT A MUSIC THERAPIST KNOWS – That all people respond to music differently.  That music can be used for much more than entertainment.  The goals music can help a person achieve are endless – it will take collaboration with family members, and the client themselves, to decide what goals are the most important for the stage of life they are in. And finally a music therapist knows that music therapy promotes speech and language and social skills – all the while building a clients’ self-esteem.

STRATEGIES FOR CONSIDERATION – The music therapist will explore several MT interventions to assist Scott – but first an assessment needs to be done.  This assessment will include a) what music does Scott seem to respond to the most? (tempo, tone, style).  When does Scott not want to listen to music?  When does music seem to have a negative outcome? (ie.  Does he get so distracted he has a hard time sleeping at night, or does he get upset when music is turned off?) What words does Scott initiate as he hears music?  What words does Scott initiate without music? Will Scott sing a long to a song with prompting? Without prompting?   Once the assessment is complete the music therapist will create a 30 – 60 minute program plan that will assist Scott to reach goals that are suitable for a 5  year old.  This program plan will include (but is not limited to): exploring instruments (and Scott making the music, not just listening), sharing during music play, vocalizing with music, silence and breath, and movement interventions.

As usual I look forward to hearing your ideas and comments…just leave a comment below or email me direct.