Parents, teachers and healthcare professionals gathered last month to find out how music therapy can help children with special needs.
In the first in a series of lectures hosted by the Special Needs Foundation of Cayman, Julianne Parolisi, founder of Cayman Music Therapy, and fellow therapist Kim Febres spoke at the Hope Academy Hall in Grand Harbour in early January on the far-reaching therapeutic benefits of music therapy.
The second of the lectures, on applied behaviour analysis, will be presented by the Wellness Centre at Hope Academy on Tuesday, 26 February at 5.30pm.
Emma Donaldson, co-administrative director of the Special Needs Foundation, said: “These sessions are designed to discuss a range of therapies and expertise in the field of special needs. We were delighted to have Cayman Music Therapy discuss how music can help with special needs children.”
Established two and a half years ago, Cayman Music Therapy provides services in public and private schools across Grand Cayman, as well as working with Cayman HospiceCare to promote holistic end-of-life care. Cayman Music Therapy also offers a free annual summer camp programme to children with special needs.
Tailored to address specific challenges, therapists work as part of a creative, interdisciplinary team to support the mental, physical and emotional health of people from all walks of life.
Music therapy was recently credited in the high profile recovery of American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was left unable to walk and talk after being shot in the head by a gunman in January 2011.
“Music possesses a universal power recognised in cultures throughout the world,” Ms Parolisi said. “It is a great motivator. Not only can it be used to enhance communication, memory and physical rehabilitation, but also to help express feelings, alleviate pain and stress and promote a sense of peace and wellbeing.”