Adra was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and profound and multiple learning disabilities. She was wheelchair dependent, her vision was very limited and she was non-verbal. She had no use of her hands. Adra was known to respond positively to fairly loud music yet beyond using her head switches she had, previous to my sessions, no way of making her own musical compositions.

 

I quickly decided to introduce Adra to the soundbeam equipment. I aimed the sensor at her head and was astonished to see that she immediately recognised that her head turns could enable her to play up and down the musical scale. It was also evident after several sessions that although she enjoyed careful experimentation of her head position as related to notes played, what she really loved was rapid multiple head turns to make loud chaotic jumbles of sound which elicited broad smiles and sometimes almost uncontrollable bouts of giggles.

 

On a more studious note, Adra could be encouraged to vocalise to ask for 'more soundbeam' although this required a monumental effort from her so I limited this requirement to once or twice per session. In the three years Adra attended my sessions, she only missed a couple of them due to her being sound asleep. One of the techniques I had to adopt was to occasionally limit the activity in a session due to Adra's tendency to giggle rather too much. For most of the time it was just fantastic to see her being able to produce her own entertainment by playing the sounds she loved so much.