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music therapy

Here at Tyrone Law Firm we do everything we can to help families who have babies or children who suffer from a birth injury and that have special needs.  In fact we have dedicated members of our staff who have had to navigate a path for their own children. If you are a parent with a child with Cerebral Palsy or hypoxic brain injury, we hope these posts will bring you new resources for you, your child, and your family:

Music therapy is used to enhance social, cognitive, and behavioral functioning. It can take place anywhere from a hospital, to your own home, allowing your child to be in whatever setting makes them most comfortable. Babies who have suffered from a traumatic birth, who may have special needs can greatly benefit from music therapy.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Research indicates that music therapy is effective at reducing muscle tension and anxiety, and at promoting relaxation, verbalization, interpersonal relationships, and group cohesiveness.” Music therapy can have a positive impact on communication skills. Therapists can link music therapy to traumatic events or stressful situations and provide children with relief.

Although music therapists use similar techniques, each treatment plan is unique, therefor children will have different outcomes. Music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, allowing it to stimulate cognitive functioning, which can be used to stimulate some speech and language skills. Babies who have suffered from a birth trauma benefit greatly from the stimulation. All of the senses are engaged, showing growth in many areas. Music therapy encourages physical movement, vocalization and listening. This process will help not only their speech, but their self-confidence as they will be learning new things.

Music therapy can be included in your childs IEP, but may also be considered as a private therapy. Many people think that music therapy is just singing, but your child may use instruments as well. When using instruments, it is important to choose one that can be used with minimal difficulty. An instrument should not create frustration for your child, but should allow them to connect physical movement with sound. Music therapy is often held in groups, so all children have their chance to “shine” and learn for others.

Music therapists have completed an accredited college program and has taken a national exam, administered by the Certification Board for Musical Therapists. The Community Music School at The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, offers music therapy for special needs children. Music therapy instructors are music therapy majors at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Music therapy can be found at other locations as well.

If you would like to know more about the American Music Therapy Association, you can find them on the web at: http://www.musictherapy.org/. To find out more about music therapy at UGA, you can find them on the web at: http://ugacms.uga.edu/musictherapy.html.  If our firm can ever help you or someone you know, with any resources or in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Tyrone Law Firm.

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