Music therapy helps toddler with paralysis

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) – Many therapies are covered but insurance, but there are also many that are not. Often those therapies that aren’t covered can make a big difference.

Like many four year olds, Madelyn Munsell loves to make music. But she also isn’t your normal toddler.

“We never have warning when they’re going to come,” says Melissa Munsell, Madelyn’s mom. She’s talking about episodes of paralysis. “Madelyn has a disorder called alternating hemophilia of childhood. So it’s a genetic disorder that effects all of her muscles. And she can’t walk. She doesn’t quite talk yet. She’s four. And she has episodes of complete body paralysis.”

She undergoes all kinds of therapies from speech to occupational to physical. But one therapy doesn’t look like therapy at all.

“The music therapy is sort of a fun way for her to incorporate all of her therapies together. And she’s learned to like music. And music is kind of our go to thing when she’s having a bad, when she has those episodes of paralysis. We use music just to soothe her,” explains Melissa.

Madelyn works with Jennifer Gossett of Noteworthy Music Therapy.

“You might watch what we’re doing and it seems like it’s just playtime. We’re playing with instruments, we’re dancing, we’re singing. But what’s embedded within there is the intentionality of it,” explains Jennifer. “The goal’s to help them work on motor skills, or learning to talk or learning to socialize appropriately for their age.”

Jennifer says she sees the difference the music is making. And so do others.

“What’s been interesting is when I’ve been able to communicate and share experiences with some of her other therapist, I’m thinking of physical therapy in particular. That they’ll say, they’ll be watching us ‘oh but she doesn’t do that when I’m here’ or ‘I haven’t seen her do that to that extent’ in their own separate session. And we’re able to share notes. And they are also saying that they see results that carry over even when the music is not there,” says Jennifer

And Melissa says she sees the benefits too.

“We see a difference when we put the music on. You know, when she hears music, that she can do things a little bit better. That she’s more motivated to do things,” Melissa says.

But music therapy isn’t covered by the family’s insurance.

“It’s something that we might not do, if we didn’t have that option,” says Melissa. That option is Carolina Children’s Charity.

“It’s exciting that there’s organizations out there that wanna help these kids and help them get any kind of therapies that they can,” expresses Melissa.

The charity raises money for kids like Madelyn. And each and every one of those kids who benefit from the money you donate, lives right here in the Lowcountry.

“You should give to Carolina Children’s Charity so that other kids like Madelyn, especially those with rare disorders, especially ones that we don’t know much about, have another option, especially when traditional therapies aren’t working,” says Melissa.

You can help Carolina Children’s Charity by donating here: http://www.carolinachildren.org/

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