Music Therapy at Deafblind Ireland

Many children with multi-sensory impairment have difficulties in communication skills. Music therapy provides another avenue for fostering interaction. Music becomes the key to unlocking a door.  Through sound and vibration, or the feel of music- communication becomes possible. These sessions, for individuals with sensory difficulties, facilitate such interactions.  This child-centred approach has encouraged many to explore and discover their potential through music.” Dr K.Deasy, Development Officer at D.B.I

                          A Parent’s Reflection on their Child’s Music Therapy 

“My daughter Lily, aged 4 years & 7 months, was referred to Enable Ireland Early Intervention services. She was not walking independently, had only a few words and we had concerns about her overall development. She was aged 18 months then. Concerns were raised over Lily’s social skills, communication skills and repetitive behaviour. Lily had no eye-contact, it was as if she was deaf but after hospital tests, that was ruled out. Lily was referred for a comprehensive Autism assessment and was diagnosed with Autism in 2012.

Lily responded to music and would repeat songs from Barney the Dinosaur on T.V. It was then we tried Music Therapy.

We attended 30 one to one sessions. At first Lily would not allow the therapist to share or play instruments with her. But that all changed over time when she began to sit and listen and even began singing to songs. Lily would wait until it was her turn to choose her instrument and play. Every week you could see her do something new, say new words and sing along. Lily’s concentration span increased with Music Therapy too – before attending sessions, she would flit from one thing to the next.

My Daughter had no time for me – all she ever wanted was her Daddy like her safety net. But Music Therapy gave us a way to play together. She opened up to me and began to lie into me and hug me and wanted me to do things for her in music, instead of her Daddy doing it all. It was as if Lily had been asleep and had just woke up – that lost look had gone from her eyes and her eyes  were so full of love. When I would go to work – she would cry for me – what a feeling to have her cry for me.

Before Music Therapy began, Lily always wanted to go to the same places and do the same things. But all that has changed now. She will try different things. The Enable Ireland Team, her home tuition and play school are all very pleased with her progress. Lily’s life has changed completely and we feel it is down to Music Therapy. We are forever grateful.” Posted with Parental Consent and anonymised