autism, music therapy, music therapy for autism, special needs

August Music Therapy Group for autism

It’s the second Saturday of the month, which means West Hills Music Therapy Studio just finished another music therapy group for individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum. But we had some confusion. I confused everyone by sending out messages with three different start times. So we had a sweet 10am group, then at 10:40am, another group arrived. So we adapted and wrapped up our current intervention, then I asked the newbies to wait while I took the 10am group in the other room to sing a final song and provide some closure. Then we joined the new group. Then three more kids joined the group, so we adapted again. And what was so amazing about today is that everyone stayed calm, went with the flow and adapted to the situation. The parents, my intern, Sara, the caretakers and all the group members were all incredibly adaptive.

So now, at the end of this rather chaotic and, frankly, embarrassing that I don’t proofread well enough day, I’m full of gratitude and appreciation for our ability to adapt. I found something that I wrote during my internship that I wanted to share. I was focusing on the auras and color and energy that people exude. This is my interpretation of how this helps my work:

The room abounds with colors exuding from the auras of a circle of people…each with their own wants, needs, hopes and fears. The collective energy beckons me and I take a deep breath before embarking upon my therapeutic journey for the day. I remind myself to share my energy in a manner that lasts the entire day. I remind myself that I can find a way to mix everyone’s colors into one collective blend – a potpourri that has been brewed with care like soup made from an old family recipe.

The blending of auras takes time and diligence and constant adjustment. The proper musical selections are like spices – they cannot be completely decided upon until the soup is tested. The particular ingredients will depend upon what is in season and what is available. These ingredients will naturally affect the spices needed. The particular temperature depends upon the altitude: the weather and location and even the placement within a room will affect the cooking process. The recipe is very complicated and complex and, naturally, the results will vary. The soup will always be unique even when all the conditions appear to be the same.

The trick is to combine your precious, ancestral recipe, saturated in experience, wisdom, time, patience, and careful deliberation, with what you see and feel in that very moment – naturally. If you are not present, you cannot assess. If you cannot asses, you cannot act upon the instincts and intuition that are yours for the taking. If you do not act upon your own instincts and intuition, your brilliance goes to waste. Anything less than your best judgment in that very moment is on the verge of fraudulence.

I remind myself to act naturally; firmly grounded in the combined brilliance of my ancestry and my own intuition. I am like a giant cauldron; steadfast and strong; always prepared to contain and blend according to recipe, then adapt as necessary. ImageOur next group is September 8. 2012. Click here for more information and a link to registration.

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