Early intervention is key to helping the development of any child with mobility and communication delays. Aara from 6 months was working with a Physio, Speech and Language therapist and an Occupational Therapist. Music Therapy was also highly recommended when we spoke to other parents although at the time I had not really heard of this type of intervention. We started to research about it and found a local charity Nordoff Robins who could provide this service.
Music Therapy uses music to address physical, cognitive and social needs of individuals. It incorporates playing instruments, singing and even just listening to different sounds. From when Aara was born she loved the sound of anyone singing to her (even her completely out of tune Dad!) and we thought this would be a great way to further help with her development. In August 2018 we submitted an online referral form with Nordoff Robins and a month later we were told a slot had become available in October (just before Aara’s 2nd birthday).
Driving to the Nordoff Robins center in Hampstead, we were anxious as to what to expect and how it would all work. But we should not have been – from the moment we entered the center the friendly staff helped put our minds at ease, we were then introduced to our therapist, who asked what we were trying to achieve from Music Therapy for Aara.
We explained that our biggest worry was for Aara’s communication along with improving the ability to use both her hands and agreed these were the 2 areas we would work on. The first session was spent observing Aara’s behavior and what instruments she was drawn to and how she reacted with singing. Aara loved the space and all the instruments with our therapist directing the activities.
The sessions started with a hello song, playing on the drums, singing songs and ended with a goodbye song. Aara always takes some time to warm to new people and activities but with Music Therapy she has such a great time and our therapist always makes her feel at ease and over the year and half they have built a great relationship.
We are seeing Aara start to say one or two words in different songs, use both hands and concentrate for longer periods, so we have seen some great benefits so far. The next stage is for Aara to join a group session to aid her socializing which we all feel will aid her development even further.