Academic journal article The Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation

Cerebral Palsy and Music Achievement

Academic journal article The Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation

Cerebral Palsy and Music Achievement

Article excerpt


Pupils with cerebral palsy attend elementary education accordind to a regular and special teaching plan and program. Regular school curriculum was reformed in 1992, while special plan and program has not been changed and adapted according to pupil's needs and capacities. Music is one of the best means of expressing oneself and plays a very important role in the development of every child, the child with cerebral palsy in particular.

In order to test the possibility of pupils with cerebral palsy, with and without mental retardation, to apprehend the actual program content, we have conducted research on musical achievement of children with cerebral palsy. During 2007 a research was carried out, on the sample of 27 pupils with cerebral palsy and mild mental retardation who attended classes in the school "Miodrag Matikj", and a sample of 16 students with cerebral palsy without mental retardation who attended the school "Dr. Dragan Hercog" in Belgrade.

Results of the research, as well as analysis of music curriculum content, indicated that the capacities of students with cerebral palsy to carry out the curriculum tasks require special approach and methodology. Therefore, we introduced some proposals to overcome the difficulties in fulfilling music curriculum demands of those pupils. We made special emphasis on the use of computer based Assistive technology which facilitates the whole process to a large extent.

Key words: cerebral palsy, music achievements, assistive technology.


Elementary education for physically handicapped pupils in Serbia is based on two programs: regular and special. The latest version of regular program for elementary schools is officially in use from 2003 (modifications and amendments followed in 2004 and 2005). It consists of obligatory and optional subjects curricula. Subjects like physical education, music, and drawing are obligatory from first to the last grade of elementary education. This regular program is also in use for physically handicapped pupils that attend elementary school according to the regular program , regardless the school organization.

On the other hand, special program for physically handicapped pupils that attend regular educational system has not been revised recently. In that line if we review the program content, especially the ones concerning the subjcets for which special skills are necessary we'll see that the over come the pupil's abilities.

We are aware for quite a while, of the existing similar, even identical demands in regular and special elementary school programs. Similarities are predominant, substantial and numerous, permeating almost every domain of education. Particular differences in special program are presented in content, method and timetable. Nevertheless, they are more of a declarative kind. Their declarative nature is particularly stressed in didactic recommendation, given in a statement "that educational content is not an aim in itself, but should be modified according to real needs and capacities of given child's individual development" (1). However, despite above mentioned statement, content of the special program is almost literally (in various degrees, depending on subject matter) overtaken from elementary schools regular program, revised in 1992. Now, we have substantially diminished demands in revised regular program and outdated and unrevised program in special schools, which exceeds pupils' capacities to adopt it. We are aware of the fact that we can not offer to the pupils in the frame of the special schools some new or dramatically different program content compared with the ones from the regular school program, but in our work with them priority is clear educational abilities and needs.

Results of various studies, as well as special education theory and practice, point out insufficient capacities of disabled pupils to full fill demands of the special program. …

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