Special needs children may experience a broad spectrum of challenges in their early stages of life, including a wide range of emotional, physical, social, or cognitive delays — sometimes a combination of them. Many of these will have little in common relative to each other, however, one therapeutic technique may prove of tremendous value to nearly all of them.
Health Rhythms drumming can help children engage and overcome a number of difficulties arising due to circumstances of their health or environment. To get started, this style of musical therapy requires little more than the ability to beat a small drum, making it an effective tool to help a child lacking social skills find a voice, or for a child with cognitive issues to find a point of focus. Here are a few specific ways health rhythms drumming can help children.
Health Rhythms Drumming Can Strengthen Motor Skills in Children
There are few things so instantly rewarding to a young child than the feeling of power that comes from beating their hand on a drum, and hearing the sound that comes out of it. Because it requires little motor skill to beat a drum, most children can engage this therapy without becoming frustrated from the start, instilling confidence to proceed into other exercises that can help them build gross motor skills, like tapping a simple beat, and fine motor skills, such as alternating hands to beat in rhythm.
Health Rhythms Drumming Can Improve Communication in Children
Children who are slow to develop speech and other forms of communication may lack confidence in expressing themselves. Drumming provides a simple means to make a sound, and working with an occupational therapist, makes a fun, simple way to participate in a back and forth communication, whether it's taking turns beating a drum, or repeating each others' simple patterns in sequence. By putting the focus on the drum, confidence issues may actually take a back seat to the fun they are having!
Health Rhythms Drumming Can Help Develop Social Skills in San Diego
By drumming in concert with another person, a child can eventually develop a greater sense of nonverbal relationships. Taken a step further, drumming in groups provides an easy, safe way for a child to feel more a part of the group, gaining confidence to express him- or herself socially. Human speech patterns and conversational rhythms come naturally to most of us, but for a child who's experiencing communication delays, fine tuning their sense of rhythm can open up a greater world of awareness.
Health Rhythms Drumming Can Increase Cognitive Focus
Some cognitive issues children experience, like impulse control and attention deficit disorders, may result from a problem finding focus. Drumming provides an instantly realized, binary engagement — either the drum is making a sound, or it isn't. The simple act of banging on a drum may help and emotionally pent up child release excess energy that impedes their ability to focus. Finding and maintaining a rhythm, particularly in concert with other drummers, provides a fun way to practice keeping focus in the moment, which may ultimately apply other aspects of the child's life, including school and play.
Health Rhythms drumming at Functional Integrated Therapeutic Services in San Diego
Health Rhythms is a proven effective occupational therapy approach that empowers kids of vastly different abilities to engage, focus, listen, respond, and socialize. At Functional Integrated Therapeutic Services Occupational Therapy, even children who follow the beat of their own drum may find their voice, and have fun doing so. Contact FITS San Diego today!