Music Therapist Case Studies

1. Jalen is a 4-yr-old boy. He was born with a paralysis on his right leg, which makes physically keeping up with peers very challenging. He wants friends and attempts to engage his peers by inviting them to join his play. When playmates do not “play by his rules”, Jalen lashes out by calling his peers names, hitting, or spitting at them. Peers often avoid Jalen for fear that he might become aggressive with them. Jalen, who is academically bright child, complains to his mother that “nobody likes” him. Jalen’s mother reports that her son has picked up “bad habits” like cursing and acting out from his older preteen brother. The only time he is “good” she says, is when he is playing video games in his room.

Wow, this is definitely a challenging situation with some red flags popping up! I approach situations like this from a “Systems Theory” orientation. No matter how much great work I am doing with Jalen, change is going to be challenging to achieve without the issues at home being addressed. I would...


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