Learn To Wait

Music Therapy behavior song for special needs individuals.
Goal: Clients will utilize a strategy in order to wait without exhibiting problem behaviors.
Domains: Behavior, Social/Emotional

Waiting is hard for special needs kids.
Waiting is hard for all kids.
Waiting is hard for everybody.

I currently have a young client who becomes very upset while traveling by car. He does not like having to wait at stop signs and red lights. This has the potential to develop into a dangerous situation for him, the driver, and the surrounding motorists. His ABA therapists have created a visual illustrating a three part strategy:

  1. Close my eyes
  2. Count to ten
  3. Take two deep breaths

Problem is, when the moment arrives, the client is not referring to this visual and using the strategy. The boy has an excellent memory for information presented auditorily, so a song has been created to serve as a mnemonic device for him to recall his strategy. He’s recently shown interest in several particular instruments (French horn, clarinet, and xylophone) so, along with a string quartet and orchestral percussion, these were included in the recording to pique his interest. The song has four sections:

  1. An introduction describing the purpose of the song:
    “Sometimes I need to wait. I’ll learn to wait, I will do great.”
  2. Examples of situations that require waiting:
    First verse “When I get to a red light, I need to wait.”
    Second verse “When I get to a stop sign, I need to wait.”
  3. The strategy used to wait patiently:
    “I can close my eyes…”
  4. A conclusion describing what will be accomplished:
    “I’ll learn to wait, I will do great.”

The song is purposefully slow, with several long pauses in the second section, to be calming and encourage waiting. An edited version “Learn To Wait (strategy)” was created that starts right on the third section. This recording will be used in the car upon reaching a stop sign or red light until the client is able to internalize the song and recall it on his own.

For those needing to learn to wait in other situations a fill-in-the-blank version is available. It removes the first verse lyrics “When I get to a red light” and the second verse lyrics “When I get to a stop sign” so that you can fill in two scenarios applicable to your client, student, or child.


Download includes:

  • Learn To Wait [mp3 audio file]
  • Learn To Wait (fill-in-the-blank) [mp3 audio file]
  • Learn To Wait (strategy) [mp3 audio file]
  • Lyrics [PDF]
  • Lyrics & Chords [PDF]

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Learn To Wait