This Way In To Music
Transforming Families Living with DIFFABILITY through the Power of Music and Sound
What is THIS WAY IN TO MUSIC all about?
This Way In To Music is a digitally delivered music-themed program. Designed by musician Alex Smith, it aims to help parents and children living with DIFFABILITY. It is designed to help families who have children with all forms of neuro-developmental differences. It’s particularly effective for families living with Autism or Asperger’s (being “on the spectrum”), Cerebral Palsy, MS, Motor-Neuron Diseases and Acquired Brain Injuries (ABIs).
Our program can help families living with Diffability. IT can be adapted to meet the capacities of the child and to encourage attention, socialisation and connection – no matter what differences exist.
What does this MUSIC program for children with Autism or Diffability aim to achieve?
Our Program is designed to aid families in transforming socialisation, play time and skills building capacities. The program provides REAL LIFE EXAMPLES of at-home, play based session themes. Parents can implement these using home made instruments or inexpensive store bought versions. We’re essentially talking small drums or bongos, pots or pans and wooden spoons, tamborines, hand shakers, ukuleles or guitars – basically anything that can be used to generate a sound.
The tools and tips we provide include special strategies to meet THREE key TWIM Music Interaction objectives:
(A) arousing interest (attention) to increase willingness to participate in music themed games; reducing tendencies towards withdrawal,
(B) building comfort in controlled settings to enhance communication and connection; reducing isolation with a potential for cognitive transfer,
(C) generating mimesis and self-regulatory behaviours; increasing comfort with changes/minimising meltdown tendencies
Who developed the session strategies underpinning the This Way In To Music program for children with Autism, Asperger’s, Cerebral Palsy or Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?
- The program was developed and honed by musician and lead singer of Moving Pictures, Alex Smith.
- Alex is a parent of a child with Asperger’s (now a young adult) and he was frustrated with his early dealings with the educational system for children with special needs.
- Inspired by what he saw as a gap in educational strategies for children with neuro-developmental differences, he then spent over 20 years working in Special Needs Education and Music Interaction in the UK (along with small training sessions in Australia while on Tour).
History of Alex Smith: As the lead singer of the Australian band, Moving Pictures, Alex Smith is best known for the hit songs “What About Me” and “Never” (heard on the Footloose soundtrack). Most recently, Alex toured Australia on the Red Hot Summer Tour.
Alex Smith became involved in Special Needs Education and Music Interaction as a Trainer/Educator and Parent of a child on the Autistic Spectrum. He spent decades doing reading and research on Autism Spectrum and Asperger’s conditions. He had the goal of empowering his son as well as the teachers, families and kids he helped in the Special Needs Education system in the UK.
In creating his music program, Alex drew on numerous resources and extensive experience (including experimentation, trial and error) to compile a proprietary system of working with children with Special Needs, using MUSIC as an engagement and social-learning tool.
His motto is: “be willing to experiment” and “get to floor-level participation.”
He now brings his learning to other parents, carers, teachers and educators with a passion for using music interaction towards positive changes. All sessions are required to have an adult FAMILY MEMBER in attendance and ALL family members are encouraged to participate.
- Alex Smith and his wife Sophie are loving parents to two amazing children.
- One of their two children became diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum diffability early in life (Asperger’s).
- So our program founder, Alex, has first-hand experience raising a child with a DIFFABILITY and how that impacts the family dynamic and education system decisions.
- He has an additional 20 years of working with hundreds of families and children with special needs using music interaction techniques.
He has done extensive personal research into how to best help families adapt to the challenges they face when their children move through the education system and/or socialise or study with peers who have different capacities and unfamiliar ways of processing events.
We know that “where words fail, music speaks” and we know the power of our brains to connect using music.
So our program uses music-themed sessions to engage (stimulating attention), connect (encouraging emotional intimacy), and playfully imitate (mimesis) ways of using music and instruments to enjoy social interactions with others in the family or learning group.
There are several methods of participation. The Program is designed as a Series (Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and beyond) of 8 digitally delivered sessions that parents, carers and teachers can use to learn and hone these skills. We also offer downloadable guides to help parents adapt to initial diagnosis and filmed interviews to help them understand the different ranges of professionals that may be able to assist with their child’s development, education and growth.
Each year, there will be 6 to 8 Digital Sessions of Real Experiences of families using Music Interaction with their children who have a Diffability – plus downloadable resources and special-needs parenting tips from Alex Smith and other parents of children on the spectrum.
The cost for the full annual series (renewable) is only $49.95 USD/AUD.
The REAL EXAMPLE SESSIONS will be digitally delivered bi-monthly in 2018. The first session release (of Year 1 Series) is due out on the 20-28th February 2018, with the second session releasing by 30th April 2018.
Visit our Music Interaction Program product pages for details.
“Emergency” Parent Pack: The Adapt Pack
Adapting to Hearing a Diagnosis of Autism, Asperger’s, Cerebral Palsy, ABI or other Diff-ability
Getting a diagnosis (or suspected diagnosis) of your child’s diffability can be confronting for most parents and family members. So we’ve created Special Resources for parents who have just found out their child has a DIFFABILITY, such as Autism or Asbergers (on the spectrum), Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, MND, or an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
The Special Needs Parent ADAPT Pack is only $19.95 (digital format) or $49.95 (paper and USB key delivery).
The ADAPT Pack includes one REAL LIFE EXAMPLE session along with downloadable tips sheets for printing or laminating.
Price: $19.95 (PDF/digital delivery option).
Contains: One session/lesson and downloadable/printable TIPS sheet.
Optional: $49.95 for a USB stick and printed version.
Shipping outside of Australia or the USA may incur additional shipping and handling fees; contact us for details if you prefer the non-digital version. Delivery time frames for digital: As per the release schedule or upon order for pre-released segments. Delivery time frames for USB/paper versions: Allow up to 20 days post session release date.
You do NOT need special instruments to employ the strategies of Music Interaction that we share in our TWIM program. However, we have arranged for discounted packs of musical instruments for TWIM families at a special rate. Contact us for a catalogue (available in March/April 2018). We will be offering four (4) different packs to suit all budgets and needs and these will include special discount offers from Music Store sponsors.
Welcome to the THIS WAY IN TO MUSIC program pages from parent & musician, Alex Smith.
We know it can be challenging to have a child, or children, who have different neurological or physical abilities to others in the community.
“I know, as I am the parent of a child on the Spectrum (Autism Spectrum).
My wife, Sophie, and I found it frustrating to get our child the attention we felt he needed as he journeyed through his early education years. I ended up going into special needs education (special education) as a Music Interaction Program trainer.
I served for over 20 years in the UK special needs education and music interaction training systems, helping teachers, parents and carers learn these powerful methods. I saw a lot of cognitive transfer of skills and comfort levels in new situations, and I felt called to offer this program and my insights to other parents who want to use the POWER of MUSIC to help their children progress as far as possible in life.”
Founder, Alex Smith
Connect with our Team
Request a catalogue or an in person session with one of the This Way In To Music team members. You can also phone us on +61.4188.8.131.52.