Monday, August 10, 2009

Music Therapy

I currently take my son, Matthew, who has
complete ACC, to Music Therapy and I have
taken him to music therapy in the past as well.
(For my son) I find music to be a key to unlock
the doorway to learning and for helping him learn
how to express himself. This has proven to be
true for my son since he was very little. I do
notice a huge difference in his ability to learn
new things when music is involved in the learning
process. Matthew is non-verbal with only a handful
of words.

Many parents comment that their child with ACC
has a much higher receptive language (ability
to understand what they hear) than their
expressive language.

Matthew's main form of communication is through
an augmentative communication device (DynaVox V)
and through sign language. But, I continue to
work with Matthew on verbal language as well.

It has been my experience that music therapy is
different for each child (no matter what their
diagnosis is) and you will set individual goals
to help them learn (through music) what it is
you hope that music and songs will help to

Of course, when a child has ACC there is no
guarantee that Music Therapy will produce
language but there is also no harm in trying,
I believe.

Personally, I am a huge fan of music and
music therapy for helping my own child learn.
Since he was a baby I have sung little silly
made-up rhyming songs to help him learn body
parts and other things. For whatever reason,
music captures Matthew’s attention and helps
him relate the song to a body part or something
else we are working on learning much more easily
than spoken words.

Each person diagnosed with Agenesis of the
Corpus Callosum is so different in terms of
HOW they are affected as I am sure many of
you already know. Some kids with ACC talk,
some kids do not talk. Some kids struggle to
get their words out in a complete sentence or
in the right order. Some kids struggle for
the right words.

To my knowledge there is no specific research
done yet on the effects of music therapy on
people who have ACC.

With the diagnosis of ACC comes what so many
parents refer to as the “wait and see” period.
Waiting to see what my child would be able to
do or not do was NOT easy for me and was something
I struggled with for quite awhile. But our kids
amaze us ALL THE TIME with the things they learn
and it's so wonderful!!

I would definitely try music therapy with a
child who has ACC to see if music might possibly
be the way to help unlock and encourage verbal
skills as well as help with other areas of learning.

I am a believer in giving a child with ACC several
avenues and tools for helping to encourage language
such as Sign Language and augmentative
communication devices as well as continuing to
work on verbal language.

I still sing songs today with Matthew to help him
learn something new that we are working on and I
think it’s amazing how quickly he is able to learn
through a song.

I began homeschooling my son two years ago and I
found a wonderful website called Listen and Learn.
It is written by Rachel Rambach, a Board-Certified
Music Therapist. Rachel is experienced working with
children who have disabilities and specifically
with kids who have Autism. She offers free full
length songs on her website to sing with your
child. I have found the website to be a big
blessing and can’t say enough good things about
Rachel, her website and what she does to reach
out and help so many kids around the world. You
may want to take a look at the website and see
if any of the songs there may help your own child.

Listen and Learn Music

If you click on the link above and scroll
half way down the page you will see “labels”
on the left-hand side. The songs are categorized
into topics so if you click on a topic all of
the songs under that specific topic will appear
for you to listen to.

See Rachel and Music Therapy on the local news:

What do YOU think about Music Therapy?

Do you have a child who has ACC that has
experienced Music Therapy with favorable results?

Are you a Music Therapist who has worked with
a child who has Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum
(ACC) that may care to share?

Does your child with ACC learn more easily
through music and songs?

There is a previous blog post about Listen and
Learn Music that can be found here.

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