• Good News

    What To Do With Missing Pieces?

    This week, some of my work was cancelled so that I could work at a week-long camp I agreed to work at one year ago. The children at this camp were not children I knew much about personally, and did not have an opportunity to get to know individually. After writing last weeks blog about Mastering a Skill; Measurement of…

  • Good News

    Mastering a Skill; Measurement of Progress and Actual Development

    Earlier this week, I had read an article by another Music Therapist, Kimberly Sena Moore, on being stuck in a rut in therapy ( http://www.musictherapymaven.com/stuck-in-a-rut-11-ways-to-get-your-music-therapy-mojo-back/ ). Her timing was perfect with this article. This had not been a glorious therapy week. I had also read several articles on sensory integration therapies being valid practice or not. In combination with the ongoing Olympics, I thought this would be…

  • Good News

    Autism; Sensory Reactive to Independence and Self Control

    Today, in two seperate sessions, three examples of my blogs happened all at once, using “stims” in learning (https://backmountainmusictherapy.com/2012/03/autistic-children-watching-for-developmental-learning-cues/): Frankie finding his voice (https://backmountainmusictherapy.com/2012/06/frankie-finds-his-voice-where-words-fail-music-speaks/), using a different rule book (https://backmountainmusictherapy.com/2012/04/the-yellow-brick-road-of-development-different-route-different-rules/), and recognizing significant development (https://backmountainmusictherapy.com/2012/04/recognizing-development-and-its-significance-in-each-individual/). It did not come in a beautifully wrapped package, but it was very significant. Today I had a session with “Frankie”. “Frankie”, a couple months…

  • Good News

    Disconnect to Self Regulation, All Systems Go – Ready for Take Off!

    Sometimes children get to stages in therapy where there is no outward movement forward. However, these times are extremely important. These are times of inward movement, or processing. A therapist or teacher needs to watch the finer details in order to recognize this when it is happening. Signs to watch for include posture, facial expression, smaller, less obvious movements in…

  • Good News

    Twelve lasting Effects of Music Therapy

    This year my two sons were in their freshman year of college and junior year in high school, respectively. Two boys, who chances are, may one day be household heads. You could say the dominating terms in our household at this time were (are) “college” and “job market”. I was havng a conversation with one of the boys about a…

  • Good News

    Autism and Therapies; “Custom Fit ” versus “One Size Fits All”

    I personally have difficulty using behavioral therapies as the “proven” therapies to use for a child who does not have a behavioral problem but rather has a neurological one. I recently saw a video put out by Dr. John Carpente of Molloy College on DIR Floortime and “Play”. Check out this DIR/Floortime Research…thanks Carol Ann LoPinto Blank for sharing this…http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/TV_Shows/The_National/1233408557/ID=2220343281. “… it is a response…

  • Good News

    7 Signs That Demonstrate Speech Is Possible

        I recently worked with a couple of non-verbal autistic boys who were having wonderful sessions. The very next day I ran across an article online by Margaret A Fish, MS,CCC-SLP. The article was entitled Development In Children With Severe Childhood Apraxia Of Speech – www.pediastaff.com. Later that day, a mother of a Downs Syndrome son (who had speech…

  • Good News

    The Balance Between Structure and Play and it’s Long Lasting Results

    This week as I was working with a group of emotionally disturbed adolescents, I was amazed to watch this group of boys, who seemingly easily set each other off, eagerly choose instruments and begin to work together. None of these boys have any musical training, but as they chose their instruments I began a very loosely structured “rainstorm”. The boys quickly listened…

  • Good News

    Alternate Sources for Autism – No Hoops To Jump Through

    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…

  • Good News

    Beautiful Music, Is It What You Think?

    Process versus product. Generally when I give an introductory talk about Music Therapy, I begin by making the comparisons between Music for Leisure, Music Education, and Music Therapy. Music for Leisure is a passive type of music which I am going to leave alone today. Music Education and Music Therapy are active processes and very different from one another. Music…

  • Good News

    Recognizing Development and it’s Significance in Each Individual.

    This weekly blog is about change, development, and growth and recognizing them.  Not only recognizing them, but attending to their significance in each individual. Sometimes when working with special needs children, most specifically in this case children on the spectrum, there comes a point in which growth appears to have come to a stand still, and work with the child…

  • Good News

    “Rock Around the Clock” Elicits First Word

         Click here to hear Charles’s Song: Charles Song( Next click; ste-002) Little Charles likes to leave me a gift before every holiday. He always does something unexpected, yet highly needed the last session before each holiday. This last session before Easter break, non-verbal Charles said his first word while climbing the stairs -“up”. Charles began Music Therapy in October 2011. Charles,…

  • Good News

    Musically Structuring Responses and “Stims”

    This week I thought I would show a video of one of the previously mentioned children that had “pop out words” and how we arrived there.  As I began working with Jay, I worked toward attending, giving eye contact to the therapist when addressed, playing instruments or moving to the music and also giggling or vocalizing to the music.  Each…

  • Good News

    Impulse Control and Transitioning

    This week I ended up having two small groups of higher functioning four year old children with autism diagnosis. As I began the session and watched each group member, I quickly readjusted my plan. I knew exactly what  we were going to work on and how to work on skills such as sharing, taking turns, transitioning and impulse control. This was going…

  • Good News

    Why Music Therapy – Not Just Music?

    It recently was reported to me by three different family’s of non-verbal, autistic children with whom I work, of the commencement of “pop out words” that began (outside the Music Therapy room) as the child began Music Therapy sessions. This is the only change that each child seemed to have undergone as these words started to happen as reported to…

  • Good News

    Autistic Children; Watching for Developmental Learning Cues

    I have talked in many of my blogs on behavior being communication, stim behaviors as being useful and each person being unique, label or not. In today’s blog, I would like to show you an example of how utilizing music therapy has helped put these concepts into practice. In October 2011, I acquired a four year old , non-verbal, autistic little girl. I will call her…

  • Good News

    Beyond the Diagnosis, Beyond the Shoes

    I had to send this out today. As I was finishing sending my last newsletter out, my daughter was in the room talking to me about school. She read to me this essay she wrote . She chose a subject she enjoys and it seemed to link to my last newsletter very well. (She had no knowledge of what I…

  • Good News

    Can We See the Child Beyond the Diagnosis?

    What is beyond the diagnosis? All that lingo; Developmental Delay, Self stimulatory Behaviors, Communication Delay, Echoic Speech, Sensory Processing Disorder, what lies beyond that? Who really are these children? When a new child walk into a classroom, a good teacher of course, wants to be as well equipped as possible. If records, or IEP’s are available, a good teacher reads those before meeting the…

  • Good News

    “Life is not a Race”

    One of my childrens teachers handed this out the night when we met the teachers. I just loved this and thought I would share it: “Life is not a race – but indeed a journey. Be honest. Work hard. Be choosy. Say “thank you,” and “great job” to someone each day. Take time for reflection and meditation. Let your handshake…

  • Behavioral Health,  Good News

    Treatment of Autism

    In the treatment of autism,or really, the progress of any individual, there is something we all must remember. Progress is never a direct line forward. Specifically with autism, there must always be a careful watch on our own expectations of progress. We must always remember the individual and realize we need to see progress as it is and not always…

  • Good News

    4 Musical Methods that are Helping Moms Have Great Days

    Here is a great article a fellow Music Therapist has on her sight. I thought I would share this and give recognition to another valuable site! 4 Musical Methods that are Helping Moms Have Great Days There are moms out there who are averting meltdowns today! There are moms out there who are watching their child learn skills and enjoy doing it! These tips…

  • Good News

    Don’t give up on Speech!

    The Best of Both Worlds Share your inspiring, hopeful story of how autism touched you. Read more stories! The Best of Both Worlds “If you’ve seen one child with autism, you’ve seen one child with autism.” As a parent of two on the spectrum, I could not agree with this more. There is a certain loss that often feels irretrievable…

  • Good News

    Autistic Individuals and community

        Imagine a group of individuals coming together, some flapping their arms, others chaotically running back and forth, and yet others screaming. All of them together in one room. No-one  in the group acknowledging that any other individual exists besides themselves.      Suddenly,  someone who appears to look like a telephone operator  walks into the room.  She eyes each…

  • Behavioral Health

    Behavioral Health

    “All Behavior springs from a reason, and all behavior is communication,” Temple Grandin Phd.  I ran across this quote in the book Insights into Sensory Issues for Professionals by Kathleen Morris. I love this quote, not only for the autistic community,  but also for children in general.  Firstly, I  have found when an autistic child comes in clapping his hands and I put…