The Canadian Chinese Autism Awareness Centre (CAAC) successfully held a seminar on Music Therapy in North York Center on March 23. The seminar invited Ms. Karen Kwok, a professional music therapist, as the guest speaker. Karen is a certified music therapist in Canada and the United States, holding a honour’s bachelor degree in Psychology and Music from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University in the United States. More than 20 participants comprising of children with autism and their parents attended the seminar, together with over 10 volunteers.
Music is a basic medium for human communication and expression. Therefore, it is the most natural choice of intervention for physical, cognitive, emotional, and mental problems. Music therapy can help improve quality of living and develop one’s individual potential. In her presentation, Karen started with a brief history of music therapy, and continued to explain how music therapy can be applied to autism intervention, social skill development, and design of group therapy sessions. After the presentation, Karen interacted with the children and designed a group session in which the children were able to relax gradually and dance joyfully with the music.
The seminar was well received by all the parents, some of which even spontaneously took the initiative to enroll in a group therapy session organized by Karen.
It is important to mention that the seminar was organized entirely by volunteers, who contribute to every aspect of the organization. Some of volunteers participated with their whole families while others invited their friends to form teams. Volunteers travelled from as far as Oakville and Ottawa to contribute to making this event a success. All of the volunteers shared the same passion of building CCAC to be a strong support network and community for all the Chinese families with autism, and to strive for their best interests.
scene of seminar