I Need Help With That

Music Therapy requesting song for special needs individuals.
Goal: Clients will request help with a specific item or activity.
Domains: Language, Behavior

There is a specific story that led to the creation of this song. Here is that story:

Once upon a time, a tween-aged girl with autism was riding her bus to school. Then something happened. She became anxious. She asked for help… over and over again… help! help! help! No one on the bus could see anything wrong and did not understand what she needed help with. The girl’s inability to specifically communicate her needs (and the staff’s inability to understand what she was requesting) eventually led to a violent meltdown.

Turned out her headphones broke. That morning (like every morning) she was wearing her headphones and listening to music when the headphones stopped working. She asked for help, but she never used the word “headphones” or even gestured to the broken headphones still on her head. The girl had successfully asked for help, but needed additional assistance in specifying what she needed help with. Time for a new song!

I rarely use nursery rhymes as piggyback material for music therapy songs and a nursery rhyme was definitely not appropriate in this case. This was a middle school girl who listened to a lot of pop rock: Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas…

As I was trying to find a melody for the target phrase “I need help with that” a song popped into my head. It was “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” by Hall & Oates. The chorus words fit perfectly and the other words fell right into place. The original song came out long before the girl it was adapted for was even born, but stylistically it was similar to many of the current songs the girl enjoyed… and who doesn’t love a little bit of the soft rock stylings of Hall & Oates now and again?

Download includes:

  • I Need Help With That [mp3 audio file]
  • I Need Help With That (fill-in-the-blank) [mp3 audio file]
  • Lyrics [PDF]
  • Lyrics & Chords [PDF]


I Need Help With That