Music therapy and adaptive lessons: What if my child doesn't have a diagnosis?

Written by Sara  R. Longwell, M.M. Ed, LPMT, MT-BC

Metro Music Makers offers music therapy and adaptive lessons for children with a variety of diagnoses, including ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral disorders, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and much more.

But what if your child doesn’t have a specific diagnosis? Can music therapy or adaptive lessons still be implemented successfully?

Yes! Sometimes getting a diagnosis is a process, and Metro Music Makers understands that. Sometimes your child’s symptoms don’t fit neatly into any one category that a treatment professional feels comfortable applying a specific diagnostic label to, but there are still cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social and physical challenges that need to be addressed.

When music therapists create a treatment plan, or design adaptive strategies for teaching, they aren’t focusing on a specific label, they’re thinking about specific goals and objectives that are based on each child’s individual needs. Here are some examples of areas a music therapist might target in treatment or consider when teaching an adaptive lesson:

  • Attention/focus
  • Impulsivity
  • Appropriate social boundaries and behavior
  • Turn-taking
  • Emotional coping skills
  • Academic skills and concepts
  • Auditory discrimination
  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Language skills


There are many more, of course, and a music therapist can address any of them, with or without a diagnostic label. So, if you’ve been considering music therapy or adaptive lessons, but your child does not have a specific diagnosis at this time, know that a music therapist can still do highly effective work with your child towards meeting your goals.

For more information, call us today at 678-637-7293 or email Sara Longwell, our Director of Music Therapy directly at saramt@metromusicmakers.com.

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