Drumming & Disabilities Explained


Meet Sam and Amy...

It takes a resourceful and patient kind of person to work every day serving individuals with disabilities like Autism. Among the many challenges you face each day is the fact of how unique the needs of each client can be. It’s often a job of little victories and slow progression.

Even more challenging are some of the common issues facing your clients such as deficits in attention to task, socialization skills, physical dexterity and high stress.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a natural way you could learn in just a few hours that would help you make a significant impact on the lives of your clients in each of those areas?

This is Drumming & Disabilities Training explained.

Meet Sam and Amy.

Sam is a non-verbal, 9 year old boy with ASD and Amy is his TA who struggles finding ways to connect with him. Unless he is playing his iPad, Amy finds it challenging to get Sam interested enough to pay attention to much of anything. Amy is frustrated because without Sam’s attention it’s hard to help him make much progress.

One day, a colleague of Amy’s mentioned a program called Drumming & Disabilities that organizations and schools use to help kids with Autism pay attention longer. She also mentioned that the research on the system showed an average increase of 189% in a child’s time attending to task.

Amy was curious.

To see for herself, Amy checked out DrumCircleLeadership.com where she watched an informational video. At first, Amy was a bit confused about how little percussion instruments could possibly help Sam. But as she listened to other professionals describe their experiences, she began to understand that Drumming & Disabilities wasn't about teaching musical skills. Instead, they described the strategies as a way to elicit and support the behaviors and skills their clients struggled with.

After learning that the training is approved for a range of professional continuing education credits, Amy decided to go.

At the training, Amy enjoyed an interactive experience where she practiced many techniques she could apply right away to engage Sam. Amy was struck by how these ideas were even helping her to focus and relax.

In addition to the percussion instruments and electronic apps, Amy liked how flexible the Drumming & Disabilities system was. She learned that Drumming & Disabilities was built to be easily adaptable and learned by virtually anyone who can tap their toe to the beat of music.

What brought it all together for Amy was understanding that rather than teaching music, the interventions use percussion as a tool to support desired behaviors such as exploration, expression, listening, non-verbal communication, stress relief and social interaction. She began to see how she might use these ideas to help Sam.

The next morning Sam arrived at school and was immediately drawn to the colorful new gathering drum waiting there for him. At first he only looked at the drawings on the side of the drum. But when Amy tapped it lightly, Sam’s attention was drawn to the sound. Though Sam wouldn’t touch the drum yet, Amy knew what to do and decided to give Sam some time to adjust. Later when her back was turned, Amy heard someone tapping lightly on the drum. It was Sam!

Amy immediately realized what was happening and calmly began to make her way back over to Sam. As she sat and faced him, Amy decided that whatever sound Sam made, she would mimic. Over the next few minutes, each time Sam made a sound, Amy echoed it right back to him- much to Sam’s delight. Sam was a leader for the first time in his life!

A new connection was made and now Amy had a new way to engage Sam.

(The story above is an abbreviated version of a true story from one of our trainees. The names have been changed to protect privacy.)