LOWNDES & JOE
Lowndes is a ten year old boy who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, moderate intellectual delay and a chromosomal duplication. He began attending music therapy in February of 2018, when it was established that his program would address the goals of emotional discrimination, energy regulation and social functioning.
One of the most noticeable things about Lowndes is his endless amount of energy and playfulness. He often summersaults over the chairs in the waiting room to get to the room his session is in. As much as was possible, we tried to adapt the usual music therapy interventions into versions which involve lots of dancing and moving around.
While utilising Lowndes’ energy could sometimes contribute to the success of his program, it remained that Lowndes would come across situations in life when he would need to regulate his energy. So we designed a task which required him to play a set of bells in time with a slow song. One of the advantages of using music as a therapy is that music is performed at a set speed. For individuals who usually live in a high-speed way, playing along to a slow song is a concrete and structured way to regulate their actions to a slower (and therefore more focussed and deliberate) pace. Naturally this was a struggle for Lowndes at first, but over several weeks of gradual progression Lowndes was able to learn to focus and perform the song at its proper tempo.
Now Lowndes can complete the bells task easily. However we still use it in his sessions if we need to transition from a high energy activity to a more focussed one. Lowndes continues to progress in music therapy – we’re confident he will achieve many further goals in the future.