Mr. James Burns. Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick

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Paediatric recovery from acquired neurological damage may differ significantly from adult recovery as any disruptions to a child’s developing brain can impact the course of ‘typical’ development. Paediatric research is relatively underdeveloped, and there is a need to identify suitable music therapy interventions that are clinically and developmentally appropriate.
This study aims to explore music therapists and speech and language therapists’ experiences of working collaboratively to develop communication and social interaction skills in children with acquired brain injury. Specifically, it determines the methods currently being used in joint sessions and explores benefits and challenges of this approach.
Semi-structured interviews with four clinicians were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis.
Preliminary results indicate that musical interactions contextualise interpersonal skills. Music’s ability to captivate a child’s attention is a catalyst for achieving goals.
Larger studies are warranted to further explore the complexities of joint working and to advocate for this resource-heavy approach.

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