Music Therapy for Angelman Syndrome

Music Therapy for Angelman Syndrome

Many Angelman syndrome patients are non-verbal and have difficulty communicating with parents or caregivers. To help these patients with their verbal, motor, and social skills, music can be used effectively in therapy.

What is music therapy?

In the established health profession of music therapy, therapists use music to address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. A music therapist assesses the strengths and needs of each patient and provides treatments such as singing, creating music, and listening or dancing to music.

The combination of music with therapeutic techniques can help strengthen patients’ abilities, which can translate to improvement in other areas. Music therapy also provides a way of communicating for non-verbal patients.

How can music therapy help Angelman syndrome patients?

Music can be used as a memory aid to teach specific information such as a phone number or address. Tasks can also be set to music to teach specific skills, such as teeth brushing while listening to a fun song, for example.

Music therapy can be used to help patients with walking by providing a steady rhythm for patients to improve their gait and stride. Therapists may play music with games to build movement skills. This may be combined with physical or occupational therapy to improve strength, flexibility, coordination, and range of motion.

Many patients with Angelman syndrome have a short attention span, which can limit social interaction. Music therapy provides a structured way for patients to interact with others. Through music, they can learn skills such as sharing, taking turns, and contributing to group activities. Specific songs can be used to build specific social skills, such as making eye contact.

How can I find a music therapist near me?

Your physician or physiotherapist may be able to recommend a certified music therapy center near you. Your physiotherapist may also be able to coordinate with the center to establish guidelines and goals for the therapy, as well as to track progress and address issues or concerns that might arise.

The following resources may be helpful:

 

Last updated: Oct. 15, 2019

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Angelman Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Emily holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Central Arkansas. Emily is passionate about science communication, and, in her free time, writes and illustrates children’s stories.
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