I have written numerous times about using “stim” behaviors in autistic children as learning tools. However this blog is referring to having a Music Therapy Practice in an area where Music Therapy appears to be a new concept.
I recently attended an IEP meeting where it was suggested that if the parents were interested in music for their child, maybe they should look for a Suzuki or Kindermusic class.
Currently in North East Pa, many qualified teachers with seemingly secure jobs are loosing them due to funding cuts. Schools are closing and being combined. Anyone dealing with special needs can talk about the loss of funding and/or services extensively.
After a couple of days of diversion, I came to realize that although you may not have as easy access to working with other specialties being in private practice, and being responsible for your own workings of a business, but there are some things about private practice that are a wonderful trade off. The one benefit I want to talk about is the one that makes my actual work stress free . The luxury of being able to decide what is the most important goals to work on for a client, what is their greatest need, makes my work very clear for me. Now let it be said that I enjoy input from other specialties. I love what their expertise has to offer. I thrive on insights different and deeper than my own. It is still accessible to get this in private therapy also, it just takes a bit more effort. I also enjoy the luxury of being able to decide and write for Music Therapy goals that I feel are a priority for an individual such as writing babbling goals for a non-verbal child instead of identifying colors. If I feel what may be considered a musical goal by others , such as stringing two pitches together (in reality a pre-verbal goal), I am free to write it that way . I am free to work on what I see as priority’s for the child and what the parents see as priority’s for that child (usually the same thing anyway). I think there are many other conscientious professionals and specialties that have to slightly alter their wording to fit a standard, but yet try to work on the priority for the child. I also see the need to have an educational standard as a measurement, or as a checks and balances system. However, no matter how academically sound a system may be, it is still a system, and we work with individuals. Systems are set up, for good reasons, to include the majority. This leaves the minority to seek the next best category available. I have rarely found my autistic clients to fit into any majority category
There are wonderful systems and excellent specialty professions, however if something that is not on the list of resources is getting excellent results, that is the something I want to do. If I respectfully disagree with the system, I am a little freer to do that. No hoops to jump through.