Hi everyone, this is CJ,
I just want to get the word out that I’ll be presenting next week at the American Music Therapy Association national conference. My session is entitled “Presuming Competence in our Clients” and I’ll be co-presenting with Dr. Blythe LaGasse and Casey DePriest, MT-BC on Friday, Nov. 7th from 2-3:30pm.
Dr. LaGasse is associate professor of music therapy at Colorado State University. She was my co-author in a paper that was published earlier this year “Sensory Friendly Concerts: A Community Music Therapy Initiative to Promote Neurodiversity.” We have been developing a 10 credit continuing education course on her website mtned.com (Music Therapy and Neuro Ed) which will launch on Nov.15th. This course is not only open to music therapists but to ANYONE, especially community musicians and self-advocates who are interested in bringing SFCs to their own community. Dr. LaGasse has just announced an exciting new research initiative she is spearheading at CSU. You can see more about it here. This research PRESUMES COMPETENCE in study participants who are on the spectrum and seeks to provide evidence in their motor differences which are so commonly and wrongly labeled as “social deficits.” It is hoped that this research will help to prove the validity of Facilitated Communication because of the differences between people’s motor movements.
Casey DePriest, MT-BC has been an equally important friend and colleague to me this year. She started an INCREDIBLE school called ACCESS Academy in Evansville, Indiana. This is a school where every student is PRESUMED COMPETENT no matter what their motor or communication challenges might be. ACCESS (Assuming Competence Can Ensure Student Success) students use Facilitated Communication and are taught at grade level. They continue to impress everyone around them with their insights and intellect, after years of being in the public school system and having zero access to the curriculum of their peers. You should check out the ACCESS Academy FB fanpage to stay in touch with the revolutionary work that is happening there. I was able to spend time with Casey last July when we both attended the FC Summer Institute at Syracuse University.
I am also thrilled about the opportunity to receive training in Neurologic Music Therapy next week at the conference. My attendance at this 4-day pre-conference institute has been generously paid by Hussman Institute, so that I will have the specialized skills required to provide music therapy services in the program they are currently developing. I’m very much looking forward to sharing more about this in the coming months!
If you are attending the conference, and you are interested in bringing Sensory Friendly Concerts to your community, please let me know. I’d like to buy you a cup of coffee and chat more about it!
Hope to see you there!