January 28, 2015

The Frenzied SLPs - Me!

Hey everyone!

I am so glad to be a part of The Frenzied SLPs!  I can definitely say that I am frenzied most of the time.  I am a mother to two beautiful little girls, wife to an amazing husband, I work full time in the public school system, I have a TpT store, and our family is involved in many after school activities.  Here's just a little about me:

What I want to share with you is something you probably learned in grad school or undergrad.   But I want to share what I have found to be true on this subject.

Music in speech therapy.

ASHA states in this article the similarities between music and language.  
5 similarities between music and language*:
1.            Music and Language are universal and specific to humans
2.            Both have pitch, timbre, rhythm, and durational features
3.            Spontaneous speech and spontaneous singing typically develop within infants at approximately the same time.
4.            Music and language have auditory, vocal, and visual uses (both use written systems) and are built on structure and rules.
5.            Distinct forms of music and language exist and vary across culture.
I have always been fascinated by the effects of music on language development.  In my own life, I listened to classical music in college when studying and found it to be helpful in my memory retention.  Both of my children have been involved in music lessons since birth to stimulate their language development (they are typically developing, but so much language development came from the time that they participated in music in my opinion).  

ASHA also states in this article that
Musical activities stress nonverbal forms of communication and often surpass physical, cultural, intellectual, and emotional limitations. Actively using music in learning experiences involves the whole child through incorporation of rhythm, movement, and speech. Within the public school setting, traditional communication training methods can be supplemented with musical activities. 

If music can do these things for typically developing children, what can it do for children with language disorders? The answer is: amazing things.  I have two websites with abundant resources that I'd like to share with you on this topic. Innovative Speech and Music Helps Autism.   These two sites offer much advice and evidence of the benefits of music for language development.

So, what is my tip for you? Try music during your speech therapy sessions. Just try it.  And, I'm not talking about blasting The Wiggles or Dora from your iPad haha! I'm talking about using soothing, instrumental music without words.  Play it at a low level so it is just barely detectable.  In my therapy room, I do this every single day with every single session.  Since I have been doing it, I have noticed a calming effect for my more active students and more focus for my distracted students.  I can't say that it is 100% because of the music, but I can say that we all enjoy this in therapy sessions.  If you try it, let me know how it goes!

Be sure to like The Frenzied SLPs Facebook page for more great topics for SLPs!