Music Therapy personal safety song for special needs individuals.
Goal: Client will respond to personal information questions by showing an identification card.
Domains: Social, Behavior
Some children with special needs have a tendency to wander off, escape, elope (whatever term you prefer) when in public. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, they probably have not yet watched enough nightly news to realize that the world can be a scary place and not everybody is your friend. When a class visits a grocery store to buy supplies for a cooking activity, a student may sneak off to the ice cream freezer aisle. While Mom is checking out a shoe store in the mall, a child may slip away to find the video game store. So what can be done?
Teach the child to present an ID card to a police officer, security guard, store employee, or other person of authority when lost. This may be a school ID when on a field trip or a personal ID when with family. In Missouri you can get a non-drivers license identification card for you child from the DMV. Instead of an ID card you may use a bracelet, a flash drive, a temporary tattoo…
(To account for these different types of identification, a instrumental version of the song is included in the download.)
What needs to be taught is that this ID (or other identification device) should be shown to someone in authority when the child is lost and is asked personal information questions. Four specific questions are targeted in this song:
1. What’s your name?
2. Who are you?
3. What’s your address?
4. Where do you live?
(Again, if there is a personal information question you find more suitable, you can sing it along with the instrumental version of the song.)
The actual recording is twice as long as the example video – verse > chorus > verse > chorus. The verse explains the situation in which you would need to show your ID card and the chorus tests the child’s response to the four targeted personal information questions. During the first verse I usually have the ID card visible on the child’s desk and (if needed) gesture for them to hand it to me. Before the second verse I will have the child place the ID card in their pocket to replicate a more natural situation.
If the child can provide their ID card within the musical activity that’s great, but we’re not done yet. An adult finding your lost kid out in the community is not going to be singing this song to them. Therefore, the skill must be generalized outside of the song to be useful. We will typically do this activity near the beginning of a music therapy session. After this activity is done, I will have the child put away their ID card in their pocket or wallet. Throughout the session, during natural breaks, I will ask the various questions (in a spoken voice) i.e. “What’s your name?” If that doesn’t work I will sing “What’s your name?” If that doesn’t work I will sing “If someone says – What’s you name”? If that doesn’t work I will sing again while holding out my hand. It usually takes a number of sessions, but more often than not a child will learn to respond to those spoken questions outside of the musical activity.
Show Your ID Card [mp3 audio file]
Show Your ID Card (instrumental) [mp3 audio file]
Lyrics & Chords [PDF]
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