Kate's Voice: Children with Special Needs and Music Therapy

April 27, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Laura Rutherford and Meredith Pizzi are linked by music therapy. Laura is the mother of Kate, who has multiple developmental and physical disabilities and who inspired Kate’s Voice, a non-profit group that grants music therapy programs to special-needs classrooms. Meredith, a professional music therapist, is the Founder and Director of Roman Music Therapy Services, a music therapy agency which serves children and adults with social, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical, and educational needs. They talk about their work in and for music therapy and how they came to be involved. They explain the ways in which music therapy helps children with special needs. They describe their success stories. They offer advice to family caregivers who are wondering if music therapy will help their special-needs children, and to family caregivers just starting down the road travelled by Laura, Kate and the family. And then they say how they would like to see music therapy programs develop.

Family Caregivers Unite!

Family Caregivers Unite!

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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