Scale Groups Social Creativity Attention Language Expression

SCALE Groups

Thursday, I got to end my day in the best way! When asked how we should end the session, one of our clients broke out into his own original song: “Goodbye! Goodbye!  Thank you for the music today.”  You probably wouldn’t expect it, but this particular client doesn’t often express himself in creative or original ways, like making music on his own or creating a unique piece of art.  It is moments like this that drove us to create SCALE Groups.  We see our clients grow in their ability to express themselves and the confidence to do it spontaneously and boldly.

SCALE stands for SocialCreativityAttentionLanguageExpression Groups. Being able to express yourself in a productive way is essential to having meaningful social interactions with peers.  Creativity increases engagement in the group and with others.  It holds our attention and grants us access to learning that can otherwise be really difficult when you’re battling internal distractions.  Language is a huge part of self-expression and sometimes we need creative intervention to access the best words at the right time. Attention is the final piece of the puzzle.  Many of our attendees face constant distraction through sensory needs or repetitive thought processes.

At Star we have the unique opportunity to draw from every resource here at the center. We use art and music to facilitate emotional expression and verbal responses. We can collaborate with our speech language pathologist to practice communication. Our orientation and mobility specialists help us with environmental awareness and safety.  Employment specialists and evaluators are part of the puzzle too, as they work with us on job-related skills and social expectation.  We often take breaks in our sensory room, which can help us to relax and unwind when we need a little peace and quiet to collect our thoughts and feelings after a lot of activity.  SCALE groups are interdisciplinary by design to best address the needs of those who attend.

Children of all ages sometimes struggle to find their “voice,” whether socially, in a school environment, planning their future, or expressing their likes and dislikes.  By facilitating expression in a creative social setting, we therapists get the pleasure of hearing original thoughts, like our snazzy song-writer, first-hand.  There is nothing quite like it!  If you or someone you know experiences difficulty with expression, regardless of the reason, we would love to have the privilege of helping you find a voice in SCALE Groups. To contact us about SCALE Groups, click here.

Bonus! Take a tour of our Multi-Sensory Room!


About the Author : Chrissy Watson

Chrissy Watson is the Clinical Internship Director at Star Center, Inc. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Chrissy became a board-certified music therapist in 2007 following her internship at The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation in Houston, TX. For the last 10 years, Chrissy has enjoyed working with a variety of populations in both North Carolina and Tennessee. Since coming to Star in 2012, Chrissy has facilitated the growth of the department to 4 full-time staff and continues to oversee the supervision of interns who come to Jackson from around the country. With a passion for forwarding the profession of Music Therapy through research, advocacy, and training of the next generation of therapists, Chrissy completed certification in Neurologic Music Therapy in 2014, is currently working to complete her Master of Music Therapy degree from Colorado State University, and serves on the TN State Task Force, the national Association Internship Approval Committee (AIAC), and continues to present at both regional and national conferences. Outside of work, Chrissy is fanatical about church, baking, reading, theater, and KU basketball and secretly hopes for snow in the middle of summer.

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