An example of how YouTube can help therapy sessions

a picture is worth a thousand words

Or, in YouTube’s case, a video!

I’ve been turning to YouTube to help me find instructional videos to help enhance my therapy sessions – if you spent a bit of time looking, you can find some quality content that can really add value to what you do.

The other day I was working with one of my client’s who is emerging from a minimally conscious state.  He can rarely produce voicing voluntarily.  I wanted to increase his awareness of how voice is produced – we’ve done work on producing steady streams of air, he has felt the vibration of my vocal cords, we have used sound activated apps etc.  He is making some progress and can make a few small sounds to demand.  Keeping his engagement levels up is difficult, so I searched YouTube for a short video to show him and hit gold! This video is amazing on many levels.

Not only can you see the vocal folds open for breathing really clearly which made for a good discussion point anyway, it clearly shows  vocal fold vibration for voice and tilting for pitch.  It shows it for 4 voices – soprano, alto, tenor and bass so that you can see the different vocal fold anatomy across the voices.  Then there is the beautiful music they are producing – which drew my client in (and induced tears).  We watched the video twice, he really engaged (studied the screen intently, spontaneously voiced at times, shed a few tears) and it was a good adjunct to my session.  I used this video in a session with a very cognitively impaired patient, but plan to use it with the clients I treat with neurological voice changes – e.g. pitch changes due to muscle weakness post stroke.

Whilst on the subject of YouTube, here is a fantastic video to help children learn about aphasia.  I recently gave a careers talk to six year olds for Science Day at my daughter’s school and this video was the perfect introduction to my job!

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