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Additional Support Needs

Event type: 

Music therapy for children with autism and related conditions

Research shows that children with autism respond positively to music. This workshop will provide an introduction to music therapy and offer participants some practical skills in relation to using music with children with autism / social-communication difficulties.

Key learning:

• A theoretical understanding of music therapy

• Why music? – the significance & impact of music for children with social communication needs

• Practical skills and confidence to use music as a medium to encourage self-expression and social communication

Who should attend

This workshop will be of interest to healthcare professionals, educators, carers or others who are working with children on the autistic spectrum. It may also appeal to music educators or community musicians.

Facilitator bio

Janet McLachlan MA(Hons), PGDipMT (Nordoff-Robbins)
Janet is Head Music Therapist (Greater Glasgow) for Nordoff Robbins Scotland, having worked with the charity since August 2003 as a clinician, staff and services manager and placement supervisor. She currently provides music therapy to Robin House Children’s Hospice and to a specialist autism centre New Struan School. Her clinical experience encompasses work in the fields of complex additional support needs, adult mental health and dementia care. Janet’s work has been presented widely, including at the International Congress of Palliative Care, the British Association of Music Therapy conference and the Annual National Conference for Specialist Psychiatric Registrars in Learning Disability.

Gráinne Foster MPhil, MSc (Nordoff Robbins), BA (Mod) Hons, LRIAM
Gráinne works as a music therapist for Nordoff Robbins Scotland from both the Glasgow and Lothian bases. She qualified as a music therapist in 2013 and joined the charity in 2014, having previously worked for several years as a piano teacher, pre-instrumental music teacher, and visiting music and movement workshop leader for children. Her clinical experience spans work with children and adults with autism, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, neurological disorders and a range of other complex needs. She also works with adults with dementia. Gráinne enjoys sharing her work and has broad experience of delivering workshops as well as presenting research, including at the 9th and 10th European Music Therapy Congresses (2013, 2016), the 14th World Congress of Music Therapy (2014), and the 1st and 2nd British Association of Music Therapy Conferences (2014, 2016). She is an active performing musician and currently performs with a number of Edinburgh-based folk and Latin American groups.