We as music therapists are very fortunate. We get to do something for a living that can make a significant difference in a child’s life. Beyond that we give parents so much hope to see their child’s potential, through the most creative form of therapy, music.
One of the most basic human needs is to give and receive love, to be told that one is loved. Deep down, it what makes us all tick. Sometimes children with Autism are non-verbal or they have profound struggles with expressive language. Of course physical love can be expressed and that means the world. But when a parent hears their child express love with words it is one of the best and perhaps most needed feelings a Mother, Father, or other relatives can experience.
Many times when working with children that suffer from expressive language disabilities, over time and with hard work, their communication can develop. Sometimes, there are words “in there” but it takes time and a team of skilled therapists to “pull out” those words.
“I love you” is a common phrase we work on with children. We don’t just sing the word for a child to echo back without meaning. Rather, we use visuals, or actually have a parent in the room as we are singing an “I love you” song prompting for language.
We work on syllables and sounds aiming for that cherished phrase, “I love you”.
If we can “pull” those words out of a child, a child that has never verbally expressed love before to his Mom for instance, this is a triumph for this child, for the family and of course for us as therapists.
Jammin Jenn Music Therapist, Amanda Pelletier, a very talented therapist has been working with a particular family for a while now. This family expressed the following in an email to us, “I am forever grateful for the recommendation and for the services offered by Jennifer Pacht- Goodman & Amanda Pelletier, you have in conjunction with all of Daniel’s other therapies made a huge shift in our lives. Daniel said, “I love you” tonight! We are over the moon and very, very thankful.”
It happened! One of those triumphs!! Music therapy is only one of the therapies this child is receiving. Without a doubt, this child responds extraordinarily well to music therapy. Amanda, in conjunction with his other therapists made it happen! They were successful in “pulling out” these highly valued words. This child was able to, for the first time, express – WITH WORDS love to his parents.