Monthly Archives: March 2016

Music Intern

by Grace Clements, Music Therapist

There is a new face joining us at Easter Seals this year in the Music Therapy Department. Her name is Sabrina Stafford and she comes to us from Temple University. She is currently a second-semester senior studying Music Therapy with a concentration in classical voice. As part of her training, she needs to accrue 1000 clinical hours at Easter Seals. This’ll take her through until the Fall of this year!

Sabrina has been pursuing music since the first grade when she began taking piano lessons. Her love for music has opened up many opportunities for her such as being a member of a number of choruses and even singing at the Kimmel Center. It wasn’t until college that Sabrina discovered Music Therapy.

In her spare time Sabrina is also an employee in the Activities Department in a Nursing Home in West Philly. Sabrina enjoys brightening the environment of the nursing home with familiar song. Recreating music from the 50’s and 60’s allows residents with memory issues to reminisce and become more acquainted with reality.

Easter Seals appeared to be the perfect fit for Sabrina due to her natural affinity for working with children with Special Needs. In fact, she is the eldest of two siblings who have special needs. This is a population that is near and dear to her heart. She has seen how music has been able to act as a means of communication, self-expression, and enjoyment for her and her siblings. Sabrina came to Easter Seals in hopes that she could pass the gift and benefits of music to the children who attend here.

Welcome, Sabrina!

Sabrina photo(1)

Early Intervention from a Parent’s Perspective

My daughter was adopted from an Armenian orphanage at 10 months of age. She had no use of her right arm because her nerves were severed as a result of a birth injury.

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Just before her 1st birthday, she had nerve graft surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Following surgery, she began PT, OT, and Language/Play therapy through Easter Seals. I had previously learned of Early Intervention through the adoption community and contacted them as soon as we returned to the States.

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The evaluation was nonthreatening and, in many ways, reassuring. The evaluators played with my baby and talked with me. I had confidence in their assessment and the support that they would provide. My daughter actually enjoyed the evaluation process, and once she qualified for services, I was an active participant in the goal setting. They listened to my concerns and addressed them.

Therapy continues to be an extremely positive experience on numerous levels. My daughter engages happily with her therapists, who accommodate our schedule and work with her both at home and/or her daycare program. Services began at home and moved on to daycare when she did. Not only do they fit therapeutic ideas into our routine, such as playtime and bath time, but they also demonstrate ways in which her daycare teachers can reinforce her goals.

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My daughter started therapy in late August, and I am very encouraged by the progress she has made thus far. Her therapists truly care about her, and they persevere through her cranky moments, as well as celebrate her accomplishments. Through play, they are helping her reach her potential, and it is gratifying to witness their dedication and commitment. I am so grateful for the quality of care that my little one is receiving through Early Intervention Services and Easter Seals, and I commend them for providing, so graciously, such vital therapies. It is a blessing that these services exist to enhance the quality of life for children with special needs.