KWINANA Weekly Drumbeat sessions at Therapy Focus are helping local teens with disabilities connect with themselves and others through the power of drums.
Drumbeat guides local teens with a disability to use hand drumming, combined with behavioural therapy, to achieve their goals.
Group facilitator and Therapy Focus occupational therapist Shonali Sullivan said the group was helping teens work on a wide range of skills.
“We’ve adapted the highly acclaimed Drumbeat program to give our teenagers the opportunity to develop their social networks and work on specific skills such as initiating conversations, understanding social rules and expectations, and maintaining a conversation” Shonali said.
“The engagement we’ve had from the teenagers and the feedback from parents has been amazing.”
Matthew (14), who has autism, has struggled with peer interactions and making friends.
His father, Michael, explained how he had seen progress being made through Drumbeat.
“Matthew has had some struggles and anxieties around peer interactions; improving these areas has been a big therapy goal for him,” Michael said.
“Since the first sessions, he’s loving Drumbeat and looks forward to it every week.”
Another participant, 18-year-old Lachlan who also has autism, said the group was helping him in his transition out of high school.
“Now I’m not in school, I don’t have as many opportunities to practise social skills, which is a big goal my occupational therapist and I have been working on,” Lachlan said. “My goal is to work in the entertainment industry so it’s important I get confident in speaking with other people and even doing public speaking.”
Therapy Focus is a leading provider of professional therapy services to people with disabilities.
Visit www.therapyfocus.org.au for more.