Melodic Based Communication Therapy
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Appropriate Disciplines:
• Occupational Therapist
• Certified Occupational Therapy Asst
• Speech Language Pathologist
• Speech Language Pathology Asst
• Teacher
• Various Important Professions
  • Course Description
  • Objectives
  • Instructors
  • Agenda
  • CEU's
  • Reviews
Children with autism who are nonverbal can be a challenge to work with. From aggressive behaviors to slow or no progress, clinicians and parents may face many obstacles. Melodic Based Communication Therapy (M.B.C.T.) has been shown to be a successful method for improving social skills, imitation, and verbal expression in this population. Participants will explore the impact of melody and rhythm on the human brain, review the history of the use of melody for the nonverbal population with autism as well as the current evidence to support its use, actively participate in and master the 10 steps to successfully using M.B.C.T. to elicit verbal communication, and discuss modifications to the program in order to use it effectively in any clinical or home setting. Be ready to implement strategies learned in this course the very next day.

Disclosure: This course will focus exclusively on the Melodic Based Communication Therapy (M.B.C.T.) technique and will not include information on other similar or related therapy techniques.

Become an M.B.C.T. Approved Provider and join a registry of professionals proficient and qualified in this technique by registering for the M.B.C.T. Approved Provider Exam online.

AOTA Classification Codes
Domain of OT: Areas of Occupation, Client Factors
Course Objectives
  • Discuss current literature on the neurology of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Evaluate the success of melodic-based interventions for improving speech, language, and social skills in individuals with autism spectrum disorder across time.
  • Determine the appropriate uses of melodic-based interventions for different clients.
  • Demonstrate the techniques/steps needed to implement Melodic Based Communication Therapy.
  • Explain how to modify Melodic Based Communication Therapy for group sessions.
  • Explore other methods for using melody to teach language concepts to children with language delays.
Givona Sandiford
G. A. Sandiford, Ph.D., CCC/SLP, is a licensed speech–language pathologist with over ten years of experience working with individuals with autism and other speech/language disorders. Dr. Sandiford has served as a speech–language pathologist in public schools, alternative schools, outpatient clinics, home health, private practice, and various other settings. She has also served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She is the developer of Melodic Based Communication Therapy (MBCT), which was the subject of her dissertation research. Her research on Melodic Based Communication Therapy was the recipient of the LLU School of Allied Health Professions 2013 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award and has been published in and cited by multiple publications in peer–reviewed journals. She has presented on this topic nationwide. She is the CEO of her own company MeloComm Speech and Language Therapy. She enjoys reading, writing, researching, teaching, and working with children with autism.

Financial Disclosures: Dr. Sandiford is the creator and holds the copyright on supplemental IOS therapy apps for M.B.C.T. She is also the CEO of her own company MeloComm Speech and Language Therapy. CIAO pays an honoraria for the presentation of this course.

Non-Financial Disclosure: there are no relevant disclosures

  Day 1
  07:30 - 08:00   Registration
  08:00 - 08:15   Course objectives, pre-quiz (no scoring requirements) group selection
  08:15 - 09:00   Understanding brain development and differences in individuals with autism
  09:00 - 10:00   Autism, the brain, and music: Understanding the impact of melody on the brain
  10:00 - 10:15   Break
  10:15 - 10:45   Autism and melodic based interventions (Literature Review)
  10:45 - 11:30   Melodic-Based Communication Therapy definition, research
  11:30 - 12:30   Lunch (on your own)
  12:30 - 03:00   Implementation of melodic based communication therapy/acceptable modifications
  03:00 - 03:15   Break
  03:15 - 03:30   Melodic based interventions: Group settings; other suggestions for using melody
  03:30 - 04:00   Q&A

Contact hours pre-approved for:
  • 0.65 CEUs (6.5 Contact Hours)
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider #AAWA (SLP/SLPA)
  • This course is offered for 6.5 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional Area)
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (8.125 PDUs)
  • CIAO is an AOTA Approved Provider #4119 (OT/COTA)
The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
CIAO is regognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)
St Louis, MO   Dec 2017
Great! From instructions, videos, and group.
St Louis, MO   Dec 2017
I would love to attend more workshops about: Autism, music therapy, communication, early childhood, early interventions and sensory supports.
Portland, OR   Sep 2017
Very well presented. Enlightening information to use in my practice.
Portland, OR   Sep 2017
This course was worth every penny!!
Portland, OR   Sep 2017
Thank you!
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
I absolutely loved the course. It reinforced knowledge I have and I learned new research/findings and info. Dr. S was very engaging, fun and I didn't get sleepy even once.
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
A great course with practical applications. Can't wait to use this in my clinical practice.
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Givona was engaging, hands on, and interactive. I was fully engaged for the entire workshop and am leaving confident in my ability to implement these strategies Monday morning.
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Thank you for showing us that music is filling in the gaps for those that haven't found their voice yet!
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Excellent course! Well discussed and presented. I liked the research aspects and the videos.
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Speaker was awesome and entertaining as well as full of information and great teaching techniques.
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Appreciated the EBP and thorough, explanation to the clinical science behind the therapy technique.
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Amazing course
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed this course!
San Diego, CA   Aug 2017
Excellent!! These techniques will allow my children to be able to interact with their environment.
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
great presentation, having the opportunity to practice all 10 steps made it easier for me to understand.
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
Research articles very interesting!! Best conference I've been to in years! Thank you!
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
Great presenter! Very animated and articulate.
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
very engaging course and instructor
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
This was so much fun! I enjoyed it & learned techniques! Can't wait to use it and apply some of my ideas!
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
I am going to try to emplement melody in my work (school) as a COTA. Especially with writing - (Alphabet)
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
Amazing presentation by Dr. S. Enjoyed every minute of the presentation. Can't wait to try.
San Antonio, TX   Jul 2017
Excellent course with treatment techniques I can begin implementing right away.
Metairie, LA   Jun 2017
Engaging, interactive, up-beat, and energetic! Wonderful presentation today, as a result I will return for another seminar- I will also recommend.
Metairie, LA   Jun 2017
Enjoyed the seminar and the enthusiasm it brought to developing communication skills.
Metairie, LA   Jun 2017
Great session! Beautiful presenter- passionate and motivated. Evidence based research!!!
Metairie, LA   Jun 2017