31Jul
2013
2

Sensational Ideas for Working with Children with Autism (Part 3)

Friday was my last day with the children at UCP!! I can’t believe it!

I’ll be leaving United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) to start my new position as Interim Professor of Music Therapy at University of Miami. There are many things that I’ll miss about UCP, but most of all will be the children.

Don’t worry ~ I have many, many videos saved up from my seven years at UCP (one of which I’m sharing below!)

In today’s post, we are moving forward with the series on Music Therapy + Sensory Integration. Catch up on the earlier posts here:

Part 1: Utilizing the therapy ball

Part 2: Tactile stimulation + the book “Aint Gonna Paint No More”

Today I am sharing a video that shows me using the gathering drum to provide vestibular stimulation:

During my co-treatment sessions with occupational therapists, we have used a spinning machine to provide vestibular stimulation to children who are under aroused (therefore they are seeking vestibular stimulation). I thought the gathering drum was the perfect way to mimic this (albeit at a much slower pace!) I’ve also used an office chair to spin the children while singing this song and the kids LOVED it!

Children who are hyposensitive to vestibular input (and are under aroused) are seeking that type of movement. You may see these children constantly in motion, spinning, whirling, or bouncing.

I ALWAYS encourage you to consult with a child’s occupational therapist before offering these types of interventions. (This is really important because too much vestibular stimulation can lead to over arousal.)

Here are a few things to take note of in the video:

– I sing my instructions! “Who wants a turn?” and “Aaron, Aaron, sit down!” These are spontaneous songs, but I find when I sing rather than speak directions, the children stop, take notice, and follow more quickly. Try it out!

– Spinning is highly motivating for the second child you see in the video. Therefore, I want to use that to teach him that we use the sign “more” when we want to keep going with an activity we like!

Now it’s ACTION TIME!

Leave a comment below and let me know how you’re incorporating sensory integration techniques into your music therapy sessions. Aaannnd….go!

Want more session ideas for working with children with autism? Take my course over at MusicTherapyEd.com:

MT Ed
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