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Music therapy as a tool for assessing hand use and communicativeness in children with Rett Syndrome

  • Tony Wigram
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: Harper House Children's Service, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust, 15 Forest Lane, Harperbury, Harper lane, Radlett, Herts WD7 9HQ, UK. Tel.: +44 1923 853118; fax: +44 1923 859196.
    Affiliations
    Department of Music and Music Therapy, University of Aalborg, Institut 10, Kroghstraede 6, 9220 Aalborg Ø, Denmark

    Harper House Children's Service, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust, 15 Forest Lane, Harperbury, Harper lane, Radlett, Herts WD7 9HQ, UK
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  • Margaret Lawrence
    Affiliations
    Harper House Children's Service, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust, 15 Forest Lane, Harperbury, Harper lane, Radlett, Herts WD7 9HQ, UK
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      A six-year-old girl with Rett syndrome was assessed in a multi-disciplinary specialist therapy clinic and aspects of her responsiveness and developmental potential were found in the music therapy assessment. Functional hand use, eye-referencing, motivated and intentional communication were observed and reported through video analysis of a 30 min session of music therapy employing improvisational methods. Absent or reduced hand clasping/plucking, interactive turn-taking, primary and secondary inter-subjectivity, and vocalisation with appropriate emotional expression were evident. Stable truncal positioning and occasional gentle restraint of either hand improved both spontaneous and prompted activity.

      Keywords

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