When I was a student teacher for special education, I was given many of the non-verbal children. One 5 year old boy still remains in my memory.
This small Downs child would not answer his teachers or even make a sound. I asked to have a parent/ teacher consult.
Lee’s Dad came to the school. He reported,”He’s is always singing around the house.”
“What is his favorite song?”
“Gladys Knight and the Pips,”Midnight train to Georgia.”
I changed my lessons to pair conversation with intonations. Sometimes I would repeat the phrases with him and other times I would ask a question for him to sing a response.
He was quiet at first but gradually, his voice became louder.
The reward for a good session was allowing Lee to listen to “The Midnight Train to Georgia.”
Instead of listening, Lee sang the words of the chorus at the top of his lungs. The song was paired with head and hangs movements. Lee could certianlly sing. The musical part of his brain trained his verbal brain to learn to talk.
Even today, when I hear that song,I see a little boy singing and strutting his stuff.
Here is a link to ,”Midnight Train to Georgia.”
Sitting, staring at nothing.
He is living in his head.
But play Motown and he starts to sing.
copyright Carol Farnsworth May 18, 2021