Hi Parents, and anyone else who is reading this. I think it quiet obvious now if you have read the site, that whilst I teach to mainstream,kids,adults, and both boys and girls. My target groups are both intellectual and Physical disabilities. Why?
Because outside of one, or two people, and or, organisations no one else is ! As parents of these people (kids and adults from now on) I know what you want! Simply you want your child to be INCLUDED and valued and treated as "Normal" I taught many years of sport/recreation. I KNOW some kids hate sport, and will tell you it was the worst part of their schooldays. Ask my sister in Law or my best mate. Yet pretty much here in Australia, every disability/mental health service offers some kind of sport/recreation program. (And long may it be so) BUT! what if you HATE sport and your Gross/Fine motor kills aren't up to a high enough standard. For people in Perth there are a few places offering art/crafts. Like DADDA in Midland. Good on them. Next year I will be working in the disability/mental health sector. At the moment I play drums for Catch music (Shenton Park group) Catch music has a policy of total inclusivity. Everyone is welcome, EVEN if you cant play a musical instrument. Catch is expanding, soon there will be about fourteen groups. There will be one near you now! Check out there site. Especially the videos and pictures, and their overall philosophy. Until next year I intend to expand Stevesdrumming and make it a "go too" place. About two years ago I was accepted into the E.C.U.,s PH.D..program. I have yet to do the research but I think my Thesis proposal "ices the cake" Take a peek below. Proposed Thesis Topic:
Over many years of teaching in both government and private schools,I have seen first hand one particularly disturbing trend. This is the rapid rise in the number of children who are being diagnosed with problems such as A.D.H.D,A.D.D,and Aspergers.Placing them on the Autism spectrum. Being diagnosed thusly can and oftan does come with all the fear and trepidation,and stigma,of being diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or schizophrenia. Not only does the child suffer,but the impact upon the family unit can be profound! One out - come of this scenario is the almost ubiquitous prescription of S4 medications like Ritalin. This is an Amphetamine like compound that is meant to help the child by "speeding up" an already speeding and out of control young person. This of course sounds very contradictory ,but think of the analogy of driving from Perth to Albany at one hundred kilometres per hour. You are both fixated and will be concentrating VERY hard on the road, as indeed is our young Ritalin taker! Ritalin like all drugs has side-effects, not the least being tolerance issues,withdrawal,and dosage issues. Not to mention a young persons dislike of the "tablets" because "they make me feel ill". Many doctors have been accused of over-prescribing, and mis-diagnosing these kids. We need an alternative NOW!!! Many music therapists have been getting great results using music therapy. some of the best results have been achieved using drumming,and drum kit playing as a form treatment. refer to Rick Baussmans..drum-workshop.org some truly amazing results across many areas. Having spoken to many music therapists and having taught drums for a long time. I found them willing to sit back and concede "oh its a matter of getting the word out' Well what are their professional bodies doing? Not a lot it would seem, except being paranoid about anyone using the word therapy, where according to them they shouldn't. This was confirmed by one of Perth's private therapists Catherine Wilmot. having done a lot of reading the evidence for music therapies success appears to be profound,but often written in the first person and therefore being of rather a subjective nature. True objective evidence and research is very thin on the ground. Especially on drumming and the autism spectrum. I plan to remedy ithis by conducting a piece of qualitative research, which develops the proposal that drum therapy can and does go someway to mirroring the action of Ritalin, and hopefully go to replacing it. How? by improving such aspects as concentration, self-esteem, general behaviour and school performance. I aim to complete a detailed description of my findings. Whilst fully aware that I only know roughly in advance what I am looking for. My research design will emerge as my study unfolds. I myself will act as the main data gathering instrument. My collected data will be in the form of words,objects,and pictures where needed. I will value the individual Childs, and parents interpretation of events as crucial, in both observation exercise's and interviews. This will take time to develop but I hope will be invaluable to the likes of the Autism association of W.A. And any other body in the disability/mental health sector. I have approached some of these bodies for funding to no avail. although for me such assistance will have to be subject to copyright negotiations. As you can see their is a degree of medicine involved here! I have one year and associated qualifications to my name. To this end my G.P. of some twenty five years,DR Simon Torvaldsen (3rd ave surgery Mount-lawley) has agreed to be my medical advisor.
To this date I have not been in a position to undertake this study.(I need funding)
Thank-you for reading Steve Thorne. B.P.E. Dip-teach, Grad dip library/info science. PH: (9)379-1164 MOB:0436209887 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org