I have a client who loves balloons and her speech and occupational therapists seized this opportunity to work on some of her goals within their sessions. The family was excited to show me how she can blow a balloon up on her own, but at that particular moment in time, she wanted someone else to blow up the balloon. So we helped her. Then we thought that she wanted to let the balloon go, so we did that and blew it up again while encouraging her to use language like, “Blow up my balloon, please.” And then a meltdown occurred and we finally realized that she wanted us to tie that balloon. You can imagine her frustration.
As a music therapist, I have the opportunity to create songs that encourage more language and comprehension. Within this creation process, some of the most important aspects I’m focusing upon include:
What kind of music does this child respond to the best? upbeat or slow, soft, predictable, or full of changes and surprises.
What can we do with this balloon? With the support of the family and allied health professionals, I can create language around as many aspects of this balloon as possible: blowing, bouncing, letting it go, popping it, tying, colors, sizes, hanging on so it doesn’t blow away.
What are some things that appeal to this particular client? The main character of this story treats her balloon like a companion. She caresses it and speaks to it. She was heard saying, “Be careful, you’ll fall down,” while in the backseat of the car. If you’re a parent, share this information with your music therapist. If you’re a music therapist, use this language within the song and expand upon it.
Here are the lyrics. They are also incorporated into the video to provide visual support as well.I like balloons. B A L L O O N S I like balloons. What can I do with mine? I can blow it up, just a little it stays very small. I can blow it up, really big it takes a lot of air. I like balloons. B A L L O O N S I like balloons. What can I do with mine? I can let it go and watch it blow around the room really fast I can let it go, but still hang on as it blows air on my face. I like balloons. B A L L O O N S I like balloons. What can I do with mine? I can bounce it around in the air and hit it again before it falls I can squeeze it close to my body and give it a little hug I can cover it with a scarf and make it a different color. I like balloons. B A L L O O N S I like balloons. What can I do with mine? I can get different colors: Red, orange or yellow blue, green, or purple, any color I can imagine. I like balloons. B A L L O O N S I like balloons. What can I do with mine? If we’re outside we have to be careful so the balloon doesn’t fall. If we’re outside we have to hang on so it doesn’t float away. I like balloons. B A L L O O N S I like balloons. What can I do with mine? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S0Az0rnRDw