Music, Humor and Special Needs

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to The Rhythm Tree. My name is Ryan Judd. I am a board certified music therapist, here to give you more great tips, tricks and resources on how to use music and humor with children with special needs. If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter, please do. I give you more free, great content, ideas, resources… I do app reviews… There’s all sorts of good stuff in there. I’ve got a link right below in the description so you can click on that, go to my homepage and sign up for my newsletter.

In this video, I’m working with my client with Down syndrome. I am very excited to share this with you because, on March 21st, it’s World Down Syndrome Day and I’ve joined bloggers around the world in sharing information, resources and educating people about Down syndrome. My client, like most people with Down syndrome, is very motivated by humor as most kids are. What you can do is use this motivation to help kids reach developmental goals. In this clip, we are working on a tripod pincer grasp. So, I’ve cut up some old gift and credit cards, different sizes, and I have a child grab on with these three fingers and strum the guitar. If you have a guitar laying around, this something great you can do. You can sing while your child is strumming the guitar. Maybe pause if they stop strumming or singing and then, as they strum again, you can continue the song. If you don’t have a guitar laying around, the lesson today is how you can use humor to help kids with any kind of goal – it could be academic. This style of humor I use in this video, this big, frustrated kind of reaction that I see almost all kids react so well to. You can use this to help them work out academic goals, fine motor, gross motor, speech communication. Basically, when they do something that you want them to do, you can find a fun way to give a reaction like this – you’re going to hit a gold mine. Keep using that and it is going to be fun, motivating and these kids are going to push themselves to learn and reach new heights because they’re so motivated by the humor.

I hope you enjoyed this video and please share it with others. Please sign up for my newsletter, get more information about Down syndrome, help celebrate with us, and help spread the awareness and education.

I’ll see you next week at

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