The cat is typing this morning as she walks back and forth, trying to get my attention. She is not usually eloquent, but she is insistent.

I was going to title this post something pithy like "Finding a Song," but she has a different idea. Apparently this will be titled, "iuuuuuuuuuuukfgvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv."

Letting the cat type probably isn't the best idea for this Friday morning, but it has been a challenging week, so my brain isn't working the way it should be. 

I went to work yesterday after two days at home with a horrible dizzy spell associated (I'm hoping) with an infection. I'm on anti-nausea medicine for the dizziness, but it is still affecting me. When I went to work yesterday, I met a new student who came to music therapy with our Behavior Specialist in tow.

Now, our Behavior Specialist is a nice guy, but he really just doesn't get music therapy or the interaction behaviors that often emerge in therapeutic experiences. We have an over-focus on taking breaks rather than looking at how kids are engaged. Our BS just takes kids away from interaction and engagement because "it is time for a break." There is no indication that the student needs a break from music therapy. They are engaging in all the therapeutic music experiences (TMEs), they are contributing to the music in appropriate manners, and they are asked IF they want a break - not told to take a break. When asked, "Do you want to take a break?," the staff members (the BS included) just take folks for a break rather than waiting to hear the answer. There have been times when the client in question has engaged in behaviors that appear to be a desire to stay rather than to go, but staff members have made the client leave anyway. Last week, one of the staff members finally saw what I've been seeing since the beginning - that breaks are not necessarily what the client wants at those times.

Okay. I know that installing behavioral responses has a particular pattern, but I have found that music can do that job a bit faster and with lots less stress on all involved. There's a reason I am not involved in Applied Behavior Analysis. I'm not going into all my reasons right now, but rest assured that I have experienced ABA and so I have some experience on which to base my opinions.

Our new student seemed to be interested in music therapy, but had to take two breaks because, apparently, interaction and engagement is less important than taking breaks. We were just getting into singing together when the BS interrupted to insist on taking a break.


This may be a good title afterall, Cat!

So, now I have a choice to make. Do I insist that students remain in music therapy regardless of what the BS says? Do I try to talk to him (again) about music therapy and how it works with our students? Do I do nothing and hope that folks figure it out on their own? I'm not sure what I am going to do yet, but something has to be done.

Off to ponder my next moves...


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