On the second Saturday of every month, West Hills Music Therapy Studio holds a free group for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Board certified music therapists, Emily Ross and Angie Kopshy, are assisted by their intern, Sara Sweeney and the families pre-register online so that we have an idea of the ages and names of the attendees. We invite siblings to attend and for the parents to anticipate sitting in the group to support and encourage as necessary. Sometimes the room gets pretty full as we create a circle on the floor and sit upon our blue and red cushions! This morning, we had another incredible group of children. We saw many new faces, but were also able to work with a few boys who’ve made it to our groups before.
What struck me most about today’s group was the growth that our returning participants are making. As we get to know them better and they become more familiar with the setting and routine, these children are able to participate in our interventions and model for the new children.
I know I’ve said this before, but I really look forward to these groups and wish more families knew about them. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to test out music therapy. And as we told a couple families today, the first group can be a little scary and we strongly encourage the families to come back and try the group again. If you know of anyone who might benefit from a group like this, please pass our information along. It’s free and fun and every once in a while – transformational!