Definition of collaboration: “The process of working jointly with others in an intellectual endeavor to bring about change, and it implies shared responsibility”
As the number of cases of children being identified with communication disorders increases, so does the need for cost effective treatment. Therefore, many therapists are looking to collaboration and co-treatment as a way to meet this need. This is evidenced by a recent survey of 695 music therapists, as 44.6% said they collaborate with SLPs (Register, 2002).
Why utilize inter-, trans-, or multi-disciplinary collaboration between music therapy and speech therapy?
*It benefits the client’s overall well-being
*It is cost effective
*Language and music are structurally similar in many ways
5 similarities between music and language:
* Music and Language are universal and specific to humans;
* Both have pitch, timbre, rhythm, and durational features;
* Spontaneous speech and spontaneous singing typically develop within infants at approximately the same time;
* Music and language have auditory, vocal, and visual uses (both use written systems) and are built on structure and rules;
* Distinct forms of music and language exist and vary across cultures.
When You Collaborate with the Other Therapist:
…Communicate with one another on how to best address the needs of the client and what music interventions can be used to enhance and support communication areas the SLP is addressing with the client.
…Collaborate on goal development (find a time that will work for both of you – even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes a week!). If meeting in person does not seem to work, try other technologies, such as email correspondence, using Skype, Twitter, or an instant messaging program. This may work better for both of your schedules.
…Understand your limits (do not overstep your professional training bounds)
…Have a clear understanding of the other profession’s scope of practice. MTs should look at the ASHA scope of practice and SLPs need to be aware of the CBMT scope of practice. By doing this, the professionals can avoid conflict, confusion, and misunderstandings.
…Understand each profession’s strengths and areas of training
…Educate yourself on the lingo of the other field (healthcare professions LOVE annoying, hard-to-remember acronyms)
…Share information with one another: therapy news articles, ideas, pamphlets, research papers, etc.
…Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (n.d.). Standards and implementation procedures for the certificate of clinical competence.
- Cohen, N. S. (1994). Speech and song: Implications for therapy. Music Therapy Perspectives, 12(1), 8-14.
- Miller, S. (1982). Music therapy for handicapped children: Speech impaired. Project Monograph Series. Washington, DC: National Association for Music Therapy.
- Peters, J. S. (2000). Music therapy for individuals who have communication disorders or impairments. In Music therapy: An introduction (2nd ed., pp.170-188). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.
- Register, D. (2002). Collaboration and consultation: A survey of board certified music therapists. Journal of Music Therapy, 39(4), 305-321.
- Rychener-Hobson, M. (2006). The Collaboration of Music Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology in the Treatment of Neurogenic Communication Disorders: Part II — Collaborative Strategies and Scope of Practice. Music Therapy Perspectives, 24(2), 66-72.
- Zoller, M. (1991). Use of music activities in speech-language therapy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 22.
Info written by Rachel See Smith, from Explore Music Therapy