It Was Bound to Happen One of These Days

Since leaving the school setting and going into private practice full-time, I’ve been fortunate when it comes to staying healthy. Last January, I set out to record and post a new song every Monday, and my good health (along with some crazy determination) has allowed me to do this successfully — until today.

As you know, I’m in Hawaii this week with my husband. So the Friday before we left, I sat down and wrote the song that I planned to post today. Unfortunately, that very day I was hit by a pretty nasty cold bug that left me without a voice suitable for recording. It could have been worse (like full-fledged laryngitis) but trust me, no one would have wanted to listen to that song had I gone through with the recording.

I’ve stuck with my “new song every week” goal for 11 months, and though this cold may have set me back a little, I’m bound and determined to give you (and my clients) 52 songs before January 1! So next week you’ll be seeing two new songs to make up for this tuneless Monday.

As for the status on my voice? The air here in Maui sure has done a body good, and I am feeling MUCH better than I did upon arrival. Have an amazing week and do your best to stay healthy!

How I Feel

How I Feel

Lots of kiddos with autism, including many of my past and present clients, have a hard time expressing how they are feeling both physically and emotionally. Some are non-verbal, while others don’t have the language to adequately explain their feelings. As we know, this can leave them feeling frustrated and even more upset, especially if they need help or are feeling bad.

One of my clients was struggling with this issue, so her mom came up with the idea to compose short, simple songs based on familiar melodies for her range of feelings. The hope was that when my client was feeling a particular way, she could express herself through song rather than words.

The approach to making these songs effective communicative tools involved first introducing them to my client, singing them again and again so she became familiar with them (she picks up songs very quickly). Then, when her behavior obviously reflected a particular feeling or emotion, her family members and teachers would begin singing the corresponding song and prompt my client to sing along.

She has already made some great progress expressing herself through these songs, and hopefully they are useful to others out there. Have you used a similar technique for helping non- or less verbal kiddos express how they are feeling?

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