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'Twinkle, twinkle, little.....' A very simple Music Therapy technique that helps nonverbal, neurodivergent children with speech

The lovely thing about Music Therapy is that you can weave in all sorts of great, therapeutic techniques that all basically feel like fun and games to a child. One of these that works really well - and is so easy for anyone to do at home, is to sing a song - nursery rhymes are great - that the child knows well. Sing it a lot and it's also good to listen to it in the background - car journeys are ideal for this - as long as it's something your child enjoys.

The next step is to then sing the song but leave gaps at the ends of phrases: 'Twinkle, twinkle, little......' Some parents already instinctively use this technique to foster input. You are likely to find that nothing comes back initially. However, perseverance is key.. as is resisting the temptation for others to help by filling it in! There's no harm in creating a little bit of momentary tension so that the child understands that there's going to be a gap and they are going to have an increasingly strong urge to fill it.

When you are working with a Music Therapist, the gap can be suspended, filled or not filled and can quickly come around again. However, there is no harm in trying this simple method - with songs the child knows well. I have had a lot of success with this technique with children and also with clients who are recovering speech after a stroke. It's important to use songs that are very well known to the client and things that they really like.

Would you be interested in learning more about how you might help your child at home? this Inner Voice is developing a course to support parents of children with ASD who are struggling with speech with all sorts of fantastic ideas and resources. Please register your interest here and visit our website: HOME | This Inner Voice Music Therapy

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