Thanks to a generous grant from the Nick Vuono Charity Fund, the Olean Center will continue providing music therapy in collaboration with Hands in Harmony for local participants in our Children's Service Program! Because of Covid-19 the therapy is right now virtual--giving children the opportunity to benefit from the safety of their homes.
Fatima Abbott, Clinical Supervisor, LICSW, who has worked with children for over 25 years found therapy extraordinarily helpful for children. She describes the benefits like this:
"Through the years I have seen how music has helped children in a variety of capacities. For example,
through the use of repetitive sounds in songs, I have seen children more engaged and working
harder on their communication objectives. With children who struggle with memory, I have seen how
putting academic information into a song format has helped them recall the information. I have seen
gains in children's fine motor skills with the use of adaptive percussive instruments such as maracas.
Music therapy groups also help children. I have used songs to help children identify feelings and how
to cope with feelings of frustration and anger. I have also incorporated music in "safe/calm down zone"
as part of self-regulation strategies. I have used musical activities to assist children with social skills
building such as practicing greeting, tum taking, eye contact, and working cooperatively with others.
"There is no doubt that music affects our mood, and I love using it to get the outcomes I am looking
for in the children we service. Also, what is truly amazing about music therapy is that it is fun for
children. Therefore, they are working on the goals and objectives without realizing they are working on them. With this kind of buy-in from children, success is inevitable."
Our sensory GarDen!
An update! Children's Services Director Jason Lanzillo is hard at work planning out
each season of our sensory garden. And we'll be sharing new pictures as our vision blossoms. In the warmer weather we can enjoy touching, seeing, smelling, and hearing in a special place. A fairy garden...wind chimes...artwork... And admiring beautiful flowers in the fresh air. In the colder months we will be exploring growing succulents and other activities with our participants.
Did you know gardening is a great activity for folks with developmental and intellectual disabilities? Besides the benefits of fresh air and exercise, smelling plants like lavender can reduce anxiety and stress, and touching different textures is fun! Raised beds bring the flowers closer. And, planting brings satisfaction and confidence. You can learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy and horticulture (and lots of other cool things) by visiting our Resources page. Just click here.
Want to learn more about programs at the Olean Center?
Check out "Live with Olean" every Thursday on our Facebook page
with Kim Mastrofino and Meghan Fabinski.
Here's July 2nd's interview with Fatima Martins Abbott, LICSW, Clinicial Supervisor from Children's Services!
Thank you so much to the following recent champions of our work:
Thanks to your support, we see smiles and progress and triumphs
every day at Olean Center. Hope you come back soon to see new photos,
info on upcoming events that might interest you, and new resources to connect you to the info you need!