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Easy-to-Learn Good Bye Song for Special Needs

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This Music Therapy video illustrates the following:

  • Practicing "farewells" through song can be a fun and effective way to work on this skill
  • Including "look and say good bye"  is a great way to incorporate eye contact into farewells
  • Using big pauses will help your child know when it is their turn to say or wave good bye
  • For non-verbal children, program a big mac switch or use another Alternative and Augmentative Communication Device (AAC device) to allow them to communicate "good bye."
  • Using a slower, softer song before a transition can help a child relax into the change

To read a transcription of this video post please click here.

Ryan Judd is a board certified music therapist. He has a master's degree in Music Therapy and a bachelor's degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on Child Development. He has been working as a music therapist with children with special needs for more than 16 years. In addition to working one on one with clients, Ryan also leads groups focused on the development of social skills.  His services are available in Southern New Hampshire, Northern Massachussets and Southern Maine.  He lives in the Seacoast region with his wife who is a 1st grade teacher.


  • Jan Friday, 02 August 2013

    I like this melody and idea. Thanks for officially sharing it, Ryan. I think many of us in the MT world use it in various ways. I've used it by prefacing that "we're going to say goodbye 4 times, count em'!" with more withdrawn or more non-verbal clients. It gives them a chance to know that I'm asking them to repeat it, and the rest of the class is typically encouraging. "C'mon (name) you can do it!" This is all gauged by the goals, but very adaptable using humor, eye contact and even a mirror to shape that response. The anticipatory breath cues and pauses are fun (an element I suspect you are very good at-kudos) and the # cue gives the preparatory movement cue to repeat the action in the song.

  • Ryan Saturday, 03 August 2013

    Hi Jan, thanks so much for the excellent comment! I love everything that you mention. The "counting" approach is great! Thanks again!!!

  • Jacquelyn Peh Sunday, 03 November 2013

    Hi Ryan! Greetings from Singapore! So glad to hear from you! I really like your idea of ending the session with a positive note. The lyrics and music are truely soothing and comforting even I could feel the peace and tranquility hearing that tune. Thanks for making music therapy encouraging and possible to the needy.:D

  • Ryan Sunday, 03 November 2013

    Hi Jacquelyn, thank you for your comment! I am so glad that you enjoyed this video. It is an honor to be reaching people like you with this content. I love hearing from people in other countries!!! :)

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Guest Tuesday, 27 July 2021
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