Therapies, or “Wacky things we do that seem to be therapeutic”: Musical mayhem

So this is my first of these posts.  I’m going to swallow my pride and tell the world the wacky things we do to get our kids to do what they are supposed to do.

First off: my kids love music.

I mean LOOOOOVE music.

When Philip was 2 (pre-autism-diagnosis), I couldn’t get him to get dressed. When I say I couldn’t get him to get dressed, what I really mean is I couldn’t get him to get dressed or keep his clothes on.  Nor would he keep his shoes on.  Looking back, I’m not sure if it was a sensory thing or if it was defiance or a little of both.  I remember that he seemed as if he was in his own little world and just didn’t comprehend what he needed to do.  (Sound familiar?)

So I started to sing all the directions to the theme from “Elmo’s World.” For example, “La la lala, la la lala,  Shi-rrt on, la la lala la la lala, shiiirrrt on.” Then we we’d do pants, socks, and shoes. “La la la, la la la la…. that’s Phi-lip’s world!” It worked like a charm.  I even did “la la lala,  la la lala, seat belt on….” and so on and so forth.

When he grew out of the Elmo’s world phase, we graduated to cheers.  “Philip used his fork! Philip used his fork! Philip used his fork, because he’s a big boy! YEAH!”  We used to walk around with a drum, singing “Put on your socks, put on your socks, put on your socks now!” repeatedly until he did it. Then, when he’d do it, we sing, “Good job, good job! Good job, good job!  Good job, good job now!” I wish I could tell you the tune, but I made it up on the spot. Sometimes the whole family would be singing by the time Philip was dressed.

Imagine my excitement when I found out that there was a real music therapy office with awesome music therapists only 2 blocks away from our house.  We got Philip in as soon as there was an opening, and he’s now been in music therapy for 5 years.  It’s been amazing.  We’ve also found out that he has perfect pitch, taught himself keyboard, and has amazing rhythm.  I half jokingly say he gets it from me, since I do after all have a music degree! His music teacher at school says he’s a prodigy. (Proud mom smile.)

So next time you see a family doing something like singing a fork song in a restaurant, try to guess which one at the table is the musical genius!

7 responses to this post.

  1. I loved this article! I really admire your use of music to help in your home with your son Philip. I’m a music therapist and enjoy working with a variety of age groups of children with developmental disabilities. 🙂


  2. We have both our boys in music therapy. It makes a difference! Perhaps I would have gone into music therapy when I was in college if I would have known more about it. I like listening to their sessions from outside the door. 🙂


  3. […] I have really enjoyed reading her first few posts, especially the heartfelt Words and the humorous Therapies, or “Wacky things we do that seem to be therapeutic”: Musical mayhem. […]


  4. Posted by Kim Martin on January 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I have Devon in music therapy, and it has helped him not only with everyday daily living activities, but academic as well. Utilizing music to learn math facts, parts of speech or virtually anything is a blessing!!
    Great idea for getting dressed by the way…I could use that myself !! =p


    • Music therapy has helped my Josh process past and current struggles. He’s written songs about them! Philip has worked speech, physical, and occupational therapy goals in music therapy. Both have learned self-soothing techniques. It’s been wonderful.


  5. Posted by Michelle on February 25, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Please share which other therapies you’ve tried & which have been most successful for your son Phillip. Thank you in advance!!


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