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Eurhythmics for Autism and Other Neurophysiologic Diagnoses

Eurhythmics for Autism and Other Neurophysiologic Diagnoses

Dorita S. Berger | Stephen M. Shore



In Eurhythmics for Autism and Other Neurophysiologic Diagnoses, Dorita S. Berger reveals how Eurhythmics, a method of teaching the musical concepts of rhythm, structure and expression kinaesthetically through movement, can help develop sensorimotor skills in children and adults with autism and other special needs.

Covering both theory and practice, she explains this innovative, music-based approach and how it can also address cognitive and sensory issues in adults with debilitating conditions, such as dementia or post-traumatic stress disorder. With a particular emphasis on autism, she provides clear and adaptable session plans, suitable for working with children and adults of all ages.

In a book like no other, Dr. Berger masterfully introduces the science behind the power of music and movement, followed by artistically presented, easy-to-implement, and practical intervention solutions for the clinician, parent, or other person to connect with individuals with autism and other neurophysiological diagnoses.
Stephen M. Shore, Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University
A professional musician and practitioner in sensorimotor treatment of autism and related diagnoses, Dorita Berger writes brilliantly to inspire therapists who help persons with disorders of intention and awareness share life with self-confidence and joy. With up-to-date brain science of intentions and feelings, this book will also be a resource for students of psychology, medicine and education. Born musical, our sense of others' rhythms and melodies of affection, invention and discovery can be enhanced to overcome confusion and anxiety.
Colwyn Trevarthen, PhD, FRSE, Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology, Department of Psychology, The University of Edinburgh, UK
Dori Berger is that rare combination of musician, scientist and clinician. Based on her extensive research experience, she unfolds a detailed prescription of protocols, culled from Eurhythmics and the most recent science, that can lead to dramatically improved results. In doing so, she makes a clear argument for how music moves from a passive therapy to a potent intervention!
Dr. Patricia Gray, Director of The BioMusic Program, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA
Dorita Berger's book is a gift to all individuals on the autism spectrum. As a music therapist and scientist, Dr. Berger combines cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of practical advice to show how eurhythmics in a music therapy-based clinical environment can be used to support a wide range of neurophysiologic diagnoses. This book is an outstanding resource for therapists, neuroscientists, and families.
Frances H. Rauscher, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and co-author of 'Neurosciences in Music Pedagogy'
[I]t was with great anticipation and enthusiasm that I welcomed the news of an addition to the literature in Dorita S. Berger's Eurhythmics for Autism and Other Neurophysiologic Diagnoses: A Sensorimotor Music-Based Treatment Approach... Reading this book as a specialist in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, I learnt a great deal about the science behind what I do... Her work focuses on finding a process of adaptation for those with special needs, which allows them to respond with courage to the demands of their environment, and to life in general... The scientific theories introduced in the opening section permeate the second section; the reader is led to understand why a particular exercise has a particular effect... As a whole, this is an accessible and inviting text to read... the reader is taken on a journey of understanding through carefully placed introductions and summaries... This is a book for learners, for those seeking to deepen their practise and who welcome the new. I encourage you to read it.
Bethan Habron-James
Approaches: An interdisciplinary journal of music therapy
Dorita S. Berger is a concert pianist, an educator and a Board Certified music therapist with over 20 years of clinical experience in sensorimotor music-based treatment for autism spectrum and neurophysiologic-related diagnoses in children and adults. She conducts workshops and lectures on the role of music in science and medicine and continues to provide consultations and music therapy services, in addition to researching the role of music in human adaptation. Dorita resides in Durham, North Carolina, USA and is the author of Music Therapy, Sensory Integration and the Autistic Child and co-author of The Music Effect: Music Physiology and Clinical Applications, both published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Eurhythmics for Autism and Other Nurophysiologic Diagnoses - A Sensorimotor Music-Based Approach by Dorita S. Berger 5
Foreword 13
Acknowledgements 16
Prelude 19
About music training, and Eurhythmics as treatment 22
Objectives and organization of this book 24
About this book 27
A note about the terminology in this book 29
Part One: The Theory 31
1. Coming to Our Senses 32
We are our physiology 32
Making sense of the environment 34
Proprioception 36
The vestibular sensory system 42
The visual, tactile, and auditory senses 46
Summary 55
2. This is Your Brain on Sensations! 59
What about emotion? 61
Emotion and survival-anxiety (fear) 63
Survival-anxiety, stress, and sensory processing 64
Information processing and the brain 64
What happens if information is deemed unsafe? 69
Survival-anxiety and the HPA axis 70
Interpreting Autism and Sensory Characteristics 77
3. What does this all mean? 74
Hypothesis 1: focused Eurhythmics‑based music treatment can reduce pervasive survival‑anxiety (HPA-driven fear factor) driven by sensory misinterpretation to yield functional coping skills 79
Hypothesis 2: movement, and motor planning timing deficits, often unaddressed in music‑based treatment, can be improved with Eurhythmics-based music and movement interventions 84
A look at typical autism behaviors 89
Summary 91
Further Reading 93
Part Two: The Practice - COPING 95
4. What is This Thing Called Eurhythmics? 96
What is music? 97
What is Eurhythmics? 100
What does sensorimotor mean? 104
A quick overview of music energies in clinical work 105
Summary 109
5. Eurhythmics in \nMusic-Based Clinical Work 111
Treatment structure—Goal: COPING 114
Summary 128
6. Sensory Organization Through Quick Response Movement 130
Module 2: Seated 134
Transitions 138
Module 3: Fully-body movement gross‑motor movements in and across space: Upper-/Lower-body organization 143
Summary 152
7. Free To Be Me 154
Module 4: Instrumental and rhythm improvisations, seated or moving. Drumming and/or various rhythmic instrumental and movement interactions 156
Module 5: Closing the session, seated 173
A word about solfeggio 173
Summary 177
8. Observing With a Clinical Eye 179
Case example analysis 184
Conclusion 194
Part Three: Putting it all together 197
9. Eurhythmics for Treating Other Diagnoses 198
Reviewing the paradigm: teaching as treatment 199
Eurhythmics in treating other diagnoses 203
Eurhythmics in psychodynamic therapy 204
A brief look at related movement theorists 212
Final thoughts 217
Coda: Care, Organization, Development, Achievement 218
Appendix 1a: Intervention Progress Rating Scale 222
Appendix 1b: Session Behavior Rating Scale 224
Appendix 1C: Sample Brief Report Of Clinical Work and Appendix 1c: Recommendations for a Client 226
Appendix 2: Music Soothes The Ravaged Brain 231
Appendix 3: Understanding The Included Special Needs Child in Music Classes 237
References 243
Subject Index 253
Author Index 259
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