Monthly Archives: January 2014

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The Communication Corner: Music Therapy in Orlando

       Music seems to be a universal component that not only brings people together and instills a multitude of dynamic emotions, but it also provides beneficial treatment and therapy options for many patients and clients of all ages and conditions. The purpose of music therapy is to provide a unique form of treatment and serve as a navigational tool for achieving the goals that the music therapist has set with the patient/client. Music Therapy can be used to address several individuals needs including, social, cognitive, physical and emotional needs. The therapy styles differ from patient to patient depending on specific demands but creating, listening, moving to, and singing are all common types of therapy methods. Music therapy is not only a unique therapy method but can also serves as a catalyst for patients, in which other areas of their lives become enhanced. Research shows that music therapy demonstrates favorable promise in the aspects of physical rehabilitation, increased motivation, creating an outlet of self expression, and also providing an avenue of emotional support for patients and family members. Music Therapy can also assist in generating relaxation and aid in decreasing anxiety and discomfort that can often times be brought on by disabilities associated with injury. The healing powers of music have been recognized as far back as the great literary works of Aristotle and Plato. However, it wasn’t until World War l and World War ll that a demand for music therapy grew and became a fundamental part of society. Music therapy grew its roots when community musicians gathered together and began to play for wounded soldiers and veterans in local hospitals. The doctors and nurses quickly realized how beneficial music was to the

PRESS RELEASE: Early Detection of Communication Disorders

Orlando Community Speech Pathologist Applauds Campaign Highlighting Importance of Early Detection of Communication Disorders Survey of Communication Experts Finds Public Unaware of Key Warning Signs (ORLANDO, FL - JAN 1, 2014) With the nationwide launch of the new public awareness campaign Identify the Signs by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Central Florida-based Speech-Language Pathologist Pamela Rowe encourages parents, caregivers, and others to educate themselves about the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders. The Identify the Signs campaign includes a variety of multimedia resources designed specifically for consumers. The campaign stems from ASHA’s new findings that identify lack of awareness of the early warning signs as the leading barrier to early detection and treatment. Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that 45% of expert respondents reported lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to treating—and oftentimes reversing—communication disorders. Delayed treatment can result in isolation, poor academic or career performance, and delayed development. “As a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, I see how delayed intervention negatively impacts the children and adults every single day,” Pamela Rowe, MA, CCC-SLP says. “ASHA’s campaign has great potential to help the public identify and act on the early warning signs of communication disorders, allowing people to get the most effective treatment for the best chance at improved quality of life.” ASHA’s campaign consists of English and Spanish television, radio, and print public service announcements disseminated to outlets across the country. In addition, the effort includes an online banner ad and features a campaign website highlighting the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders, as well as consumer resources for treatment

The Communication Corner: Old-fashioned play in a high tech world

In today’s world of light up toys, buttons, videos, touch-screens, animations, TV channels, etc., I see too many children lacking good old-fashion play. Sometimes the well-meaning parent doesn’t realize that these gadgets and devices (though impressive to us and novel to them) are simply not providing enough stimulation for those crucial childhood years when cognition is developing. So, here’s five tips for going back to the basics: Pick interactional toys As a health professional having to write mountains of documentation, we learn to use certain catch phrases such as “interactional activities” instead of “play” so that insurance agencies don’t think we have such awesome jobs where we get to play all day. This euphemism is very accurate as it acknowledges the most important component of play: interaction between child and peer or adult. In as such, not all toys are greatly suited for interactions. Toys that mimic everyday activities such as play kitchen, food, cars, shopping carts, and dress up become tools to exploring the world. Toys that necessitate working together such as Legos, puzzles, blocks, and trains also naturally encourage use of language and inventive, playful interaction. Keep it child-centered As adults, our attention span and ability to complete tasks is much more developed than children’s. This lack of sustained attention is why children go from one toy to another in a matter of minutes. When playing, children like to explore; following their lead ensures that you maintain their attention so that learning can take place. Let them knock down that tower that took so much effort to build! It might seem destructive to us, and yes even a bit annoying, but to them the knocking it down might be the best part. Aside

The Communication Corner: Using Christmas Carols to Promote Communication

Music-based therapy is a widely researched and utilized method of treatment for those with communication disorders. Music-based therapy can have an impact on anyone of any age, diagnoses, or communication ability. It has been used in conjunction with speech-language therapy for those with: aphasia, dementia, Parkinson's disease, apraxia, autism, Down syndrome, and many other neurologically based disorders. Music uses some of the same neural pathways as spontaneous speech. Therefore, listening to/singing music with lyrics uses similar neural pathways as listening to and expressing speech. Music can help tap into areas of the brain that are not otherwise being utilized during the therapeutic process. By accessing areas of the brain related to music, we are allowing those with communication difficulties to bypass affected areas of the brain and communicate in alternative methods. In the holiday season, there are plenty of great ways to incorporate music into your everyday lives and increase communication! Here are a few examples: Aphasia: Individual's with aphasia generally have intact use of the right side of their brains (the music center). When singing a familiar song, words will come easier to them because music is not as affected as spontaneous speech. Individuals who are unable to communicate after a stroke may still be able to sing along with "Winter Wonderland"! Dementia: Playing Christmas carols may be a great way for individuals with dementia to reminisce about past Christmases, the feeling of the holiday spirit, seeing their children/grandchildren in a holiday play, or other cherished past times. Apraxia: Whether its Childhood Apraxia of Speech or acquired apraxia, individuals with motor speech disorders are able to use music, rhythms, and intonation to increase motor planning. So children with CAS and adults with acquired apraxia