"We found music provided an opportunity for people to express themselves and interact in a poignant way…This has given us food for thought about the link between communication, music and movement."
So say the speech and language therapy team for people with learning disabilities at Yourhealthcare, while reflecting on their Signsational training in the Spring 11 issue of Speech & Language Therapy in Practice (pp.28-29).
Another speech and language therapist, Lindsay King, has been pondering the link between singing and speech. Having heard about the resurgence of interest in Melodic Intonation Therapy (which I reported in 2007), she introduced it to a young man with a brain injury with promising results.
Lindsay wrote this up as a case study which will feature in the Autumn 11 issue of Speech & Language Therapy in Practice. Her Trust then asked her to write a summary of the approach in its new Cumbria Partnership Journal of Research, Practice and Learning (freely available online and well worth a read). With interest in speech and language therapy fuelled by The King's Speech, journalists picked up on her contribution at the Journal's launch, and her client was delighted to be interviewed and photographed for his local paper.
This is a really good example of the same 'story' being presented in different ways to suit the needs of different recipients. It also shows the advantages of therapists and clients working together to tell the story, as is being encouraged by the Giving Voice campaign. So go on, express yourself!