Pediatric Psychology Exploration and Recount of Facility Experiences

Natania A -

In my readings this past week, I have delved deeper into the applications of music therapy beyond the scope of the population I have currently been working with, senior assisted living residents battling neurological and psychiatric disorders. For example, in children, I learned that music can be used for various psychological and neurological disorders, including dyslexia, autism, and ADHD. Students with dyslexia struggle with phonological awareness, and similarly in music, they tend to struggle with rhythm and meter perception. One of the literature reviews I read, “Where words are powerless to express: Use of music in pediatric neurology,” concluded that music education for these students can not only improve their sense of rhythm but can also improve their language development by increasing their phonological processes. Similarly, rhythm training has been shown to improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. Furthermore, the article pointed to studies that showed improvements in the motor function, attention, and communication skills of children with cerebral palsy from auditory stimulation and instrument training, primarily with piano and percussion instruments. Additionally, I read “Music in the Treatment of Neurological Language and Speech Disorders: A Systematic Review,” a literature review examining the effectiveness of music as a supplemental treatment for patients recovering from a stroke or a traumatic brain injury. I have attached the links to these sources at the bottom of this blog post; enjoy!

Continuing to work with both Paseo Village and Fairmont Village residents, I have not only gained a deeper understanding of their language processing, but I have also begun to learn how to interact with residents with severe psychosis or dementia from both my own experiences and with the guidance of Dr. L. I have learned the importance of patience, as many residents ask me the same question multiple times and require me to explain the same information to them multiple times. I have also learned the importance of empathy, as many residents frequently experience confusion, and sometimes even experience hallucinations or delusions. Instead of attempting to reason with them, I have learned to provide comfort and support whenever I can and ensure that the residents feel heard. Overall, the experiences I am gaining from my site placement are invaluable, as I have enjoyed getting to know the special quirks of each of the residents, and I am excited to administer the second and final language assessment to a few of these residents next week! Starting next week, I will be able to compare the scores of participants’ between the first and second language assessment and begin to observe whether the presence or absence of music had an effect on residents’ attentiveness and performance during the session. Stay tuned to hear about the observations I find next week!


Music in the treatment of neurological language and speech disorders

Where words are powerless to express – Use of music in paediatric neurology  

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    Brittany Holtzman
    Hi Natania! Sorry for the late response on this one. I'm so glad that you are learning such valuable lessons through this experience that will help you in the future as a doctor! - Mrs. Holtzman

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