I’ve known about Music Therapy as an option through Raukatauri Music Trust here in NZ for the last few years. However, I didn’t know what it was about in detail and it wasn’t anything that I had looked into for Oscar. With the diagnosis of Dysarthria from our trip to the US then my search was on for someone who would be able to utilise music and singing for his speech.
Yesterday we had an appointment to be assessed and Jen the therapist, was lovely, well prepared with our Step by Step assessments and plans sent through. Most importantly she was really engaging with Oscar. When I said what we were up to this week he was pretty unimpressed with the concept. Over the last few weeks I’ve put him through the ringer and while he enjoyed our time at Step by Step overall it’s now all dawning on him that I have some real expectations and that means we have to find ways to factor it into our days. I met with his teacher Christina in the morning to work out how we could factor some of it into his school day. So he will be hit with it at both ends – school and home.
Our aim with music therapy is to factor in singing and music to help strengthen his breathing which helps his speech and by stimulating with song his singing then it should help with he spoken language as well. Oscar does sing in the car when he thinks we are not looking but he is a little self conscious about it so providing a safe environment with just him and the therapist then hopefully this will change.
Unexpectedly I found the session a little overwhelming. I think knowing that there are people out there that use their talents with music to help others with often profound needs made me feel a little emotional.
Oscar worked out it wasn’t as bad as he thought it might be and apart from the clip above, they did a song together about Oscar – favourite food, favourite colour, favourite sport etc and then we spent time on the horns where making all manner of noise he had no real idea just how much work he was doing on his breathing. I’m looking forward to adding this into our mix and how we can sneak some singing into his world without him realising the benefit it has for him.