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Finding A Voice

How music therapy for children builds confidence.

A young man is diagnosed with Autism and struggles with motor and sensory skills. During the pandemic, he begins to attend Perfect Harmony Health, and the benefits of music therapy begin to shine through his progress. As he began music therapy, he hoped to be able to accomplish many goals, amongst them being able to articulate the sounds of consonants in speech, particularly words that carry the “L” sound. 

After many years of speech therapy, he began working with Allison Lockhart, assistant director and neurological music therapist at Perfect Harmony Health in Roswell. She decided that to work towards his goal, they would start with strengthening the tongue muscle that is used in many consonants. Allison worked with him on both strengthening and stretching the tongue in all directions with exercises. 

“We used cues by music, utilizing things like wind instruments to strengthen his lip and tongue muscles,” says Lockhart, MM, LPMT, MT-BC, NMT-F. “We just started working on that and within a few months, he started articulating the L consonant for the first time in his life and now he’s doing that on all of his words.” 

This small change of tongue exercises in his daily routine allowed for him to achieve something that so many people take for granted when it comes to their motor and speech skills. For this young man, achieving his lifelong goal improved his day-to-day routine. He was now able to pronounce “Alexa,” the virtual assistant that uses technology to help assist and control different aspects of his home. 

Music therapy and its benefits are exemplified through the clients and people that go through music therapy. Whether it is through their achievement of goals or development of skills, music therapy allows their quality of life to improve and change their lives for the better.

“It’s hard to have a disability and not be able to speak your mind when you need to or be able to regulate your system,” says McKensie Taylor, a neurologic music therapist LPMT, MT-BC and Fellow (NMT-F), IWBMC-CE at Perfect Harmony Health. “If you can use something enjoyable, like music, to help you get through that, then it’s kind of combining a passion with quality of life.” 

PerfectHarmonyHealth.com

1001 Macy Drive, Roswell

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