Melodic Based Communication Therapy
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Course Calendar
Course Brochure
Appropriate Disciplines:
• Occupational Therapist
• Certified Occupational Therapy Asst
• Speech Language Pathologist
• Speech Language Pathology Asst
• Teacher
• Various Important Professions
Course Level:
• Intermediate
  • 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 (snack/refreshments provided)
  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)