In celebration of Mother Day on the 12th
of May 2019 Lowndes’s mum Renee sat down with us to talk about the impact of Music Therapy from her perspective highlighting that “music is such a wonderful release from the real world; a getaway from all his therapies” for her son. Renee explains the impact of music as such a positive part of both hers and her son’s day to day life; “he has had a tough run but he is such a champion. I couldn’t be more prouder of who he is becoming”.
Q: How long has Lowndes been coming to Nordoff-Robbins?
A: Lowndes started February 2018
Q: Could you tell us a bit of background about Lowndes?
A: Lowndes was diagnosed with a chromosome duplication at 9 months of age after lots of tests as he was still presenting as a floppy baby (no muscle control or hold own head up etc.), an MRI also showed brain damage. They were unsure what to expect over the years as his chromosome duplication is rare. His intervention started with weekly physiotherapy.
I started to teach myself baby sign language when he was 2 years old as he had no words or other way of communicating, and I was not a fan of the grunting. At age 3 he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and he started Speech Therapy and added hand signals and grunts for certain things or pointing. At age 5 he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyper activity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Sensory processing disorder and a moderate intellectual disability.
He is still currently monitored by doctors, therapists and his geneticist.He currently attends many therapies weekly. As well as Dancing, athletics and swimming. He has had a tough run but is such a champion. I couldn’t be more prouder of who he is becoming.
Q: How does music therapy impact Lowndes?
I find Lowndes to be more relaxed and engaged after a music session, I can talk to him or ask him questions and he is more regulated and willing to cooperate. He always leaves so happy. The most enjoyable thing about seeing Lowndes after a session is the smile on his face, the joy he has in telling me about a new sequence they may have tried.
At his first session Lowndes was hesitant to go in the room. He was quite agitated, testing the area and surroundings, jumping up and down, banging objects. Not focused at all. wanting to hit everything and not cooperate. Nowadays, Lowndes absolutely loves music. he still tests his teacher for control. but will sit for a whole session, and retain some of what he has learned. he is much calmer. I am very pleased and proud of his progress.
Q: How has music therapy helped Lowndes?
Music is such a wonderful release from the real world. A get away from all his therapies.
Yes this is still a therapy but the look on his face shows the love he has and that he doesn’t see it as work or a "lesson". Lowndes can now that he can express the likes, or dislike of songs or sounds, tempos, colours, similarities etc. all from his time at music therapy.
Q: What are some happy moments and memories you can recall being Lowndes' mother?
Being a single mum I wasn’t sure I was doing enough or opposite end putting too much on his plate.
The most happy moment was when he first worded “I love you mum” after years and years of therapy.
Seeing him come so far over these years achieving so many things I wasn’t sure would be possible makes me so happy, he is willing to try anything. Which has gotten him to state athletics as a person with a disability as well as participating in mainstream dancing, swimming lessons/club nights and race days.
I’m happy every day watching him smash goals always with a smile and not let anything stand in his way.